Evanston businessman Steve Hagerty continues to raise, and spend, far more than his opponents in the race to be the city’s next mayor.

As of Tuesday’s quarterly filing deadline for campaign finance reports, Hagerty had raised more than three times as much as his nearest competitor in the mayor’s race, and had roughly equaled the donations he’s received in loans of his own money to the campaign.

Hagerty has received itemized contributions from a total of 59 donors and 78 percent of those donors listed Evanston addresses.

Alderman Brian Miller, 9th Ward, was in second place for fundraising. He showed a total of itemized 27 donors, but only a third of those donors listed Evanston addresses. Miller has donated $300 to his own campaign but hasn’t loaned it any money.

Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, has received itemized donations from only five people, and four of them listed Evanston addresses. Tendam has loaned his own campaign more than $12,000 so far.

Two other mayoral candidates, Gary Gaspard and Jeff Smith, reported no fundraising or expenditures as of Tuesday’s deadline.

Hagerty also has spent far more than his opponents on the race so far — spending more than $80,000 as of Dec. 31. Miller reported spending a little over $8,000 and Tendam said he’s spent a little over $2,000.

Hagerty also had the most money on hand as 2017 began — nearly $29,000, compared to a little over $13,000 for Miller and $14,000 for Tendam.

And, if you were wondering what the disputes over ballot access cost the campaigns — some of those bills showed up in the latest reports.

Hagerty reported spending $3,000 on legal fees, while Miller reported spending $2,500.

In the last two contested elections for mayor in Evanston, in 2005 and 2009, the candidate who spent the most ended up the winner.

Related story

Hagerty leads in early mayoral fundraising (10/6/2016)

Mayor reached deep into wallet for win (7/22/2009)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. Bingo, and a politically

      Bingo, and a politically astute observation. It’s undeniable in elections from municipal to national, that the candidate with the most $ to play with wins, the proportions of moneyed (frequently and sadly self-funded) candidates win. Not fair, in my mind, unethical. If someone is confident in their platform and convictions, why do tey need to spend 10 times the amount as the person who is not made of money.  We deserve better. I don’t like it when GOP OR Dems d that, I’m even-handed. It deprives the public of exposure to candidates from all ends of the economic spectrum. We have assuredly lost the ability to have many increbily smart, effective, and talented public servants simpy because they didn’t have personal resources to pour into PR. Not a gratuitous opinion, that’s common sense.

  1. Sorry, Hagerty

    Evanston isn’t a town you can buy your way into.

    People are tired of big money in politics.

    And soon, he’ll have spent more money on the campaign than the position even pays in payroll.

  2. Steve Hagerty doesn’t need to buy this job

    He is well qualified to win it based on ideas, passion and skill. Can’t wait to vote for him.

  3. Money can’t buy you an election

    Talk to the Koch brothers who spent tens of millions trying to impact Federal and State level elections and haven’t succeeded. Talk with Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire, and ask him about the results from spending millions and millions on candidates.(he even bought a newspaper) 

    Money helps but it can’t buy you an election, at least in the United States.

    Nor can money get people kicked off a ballot.

    We’ve got 5 candidates to choose from for Evanston Mayor.

    Take the time to meet with each candidate and learn about their positions and approaches to leading Evanston and cast your vote from an informed perspective. 


        1. Tourette’s Syndrome
          That’s what I’m reminded of every time someone kneejerkedly invokes the name of this international liberal boogieman.

    1. Two truths

      Truth 1. I agree that money alone will not buy an election. 

      Truth 2. Steve Hagerty, in my opinion, is the best of the  5 candidates because of his ideas, abilities and passion. I am not voting for the money, I am voting for the man.

      Finally, consider that Mr. Hagerty has the most Evanston based donors, by a wide margin, at this point. His wide favorability among Evanston voters willing to donate is part of the reason he has the most money.

  4. Trolling – It Happens… Even In Local Elections

    Those of us who are regular and registered users of EvanstonNow are used to seeing each other’s user names and conversing on many topics.  I can’t help noticing just how many “new” “unverified” users have cropped up to comment on the various local election headlines in recent weeks.  I’m wondering just how many hired trolls are working out there to incite people against candidates or seed positive comments for others.  I also wonder if some of the “unverified” users are being paid to add these comments by any of the candidates.  This is something we should all be thinking about when we read comments.  We are learning about the power of the internet to sway opinion and I would hope that we each work to verify what is being said before we believe it.  Get to know ALL of our candidates’ platforms and make an informed decision free of what could very well be trolling.

  5. Can’t buy me love
    I’m not afraid to use my name and state I haven’t made up my mind about who to support for mayor. However, three of the candidates have public histories as either elected officials or candidates for state or county office. I know what I can expect of them. The fact that an unknown person waving a bankroll decides he wants to be mayor is an immediate turn-off. The comparison with the current governor or that ***** moving into the White House is spot on.

    1. really?

      With all due respect, I find comparing Steve Hagerty to Trump and thinking he has any similarities to that man a bit far fetched and more than unfair.  

      True, he has never held public office, but from what I can see he has immersed himself into, participates extensively, and willingly works on many, many different things within this community.  “Unknown” he is not.  I imagine that is the real reason why he has so many listed supporters and donors. 

      I don’t mean to advocate for the man, but I don’t think it’s fair or “spot on”  to portray him as someone “waving a bankroll” who just “decides he wants to be mayor”

      Hopefully other people will put more effort into looking at the values, real world experience and past successes of all the candidates, then post reasoned and thoughtful comments as to why they would support or not support any one over the other.  Everyone has a right to their opinion, but please, lets all try to step up a bit, whomever you support. 

  6. Hagerty has put the work in,
    Hagerty has put the work in, as reflected by his campaign funding, and I appreciate that. As someone who works and lives in Evanston, it seems none of the other candidates care about the community enough to do the dirty work (aside from Miller and Smith trying harder to kick candidates off the ballot than discuss any issue). At least I’ve seen Hagerty all over the place and he has a personal investment in this community

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