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Nearly a third of the candidates for positions on Evanston’ City Council report not having raised any money yet for their campaigns.

Five of the 16 candidates either haven’t filed reports with the State Board of Elections or filed reports showing they haven’t raised anything.

A lack of fundraising strength is especially noticeable in the 5th Ward. There two candidate — Daniel Featherson and Carlis Sutton — haven’t even reported organizing campaign committees yet, and a third, Misty Witenberg, says her committee hadn’t raised any money as of the end of December.

A fourth candidate — Carolyn Murray — says she’s only raised $100.

Far out front in the 5th Ward race is Robin Rue Simmons, who has raised $7,825 in cash and in-kind contributions, including $500 each from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and from long-time business owner Leon Robinson.

In two wards, challengers are leading incumbents in fundraising.

Lee Cabot has raised $10,600 in her race to unseat Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward. Fiske has reported no contributions so far. Donors to Cabot include Charles Lewis, chair of the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation, and Bernice Weissbourd, the founder of Family Focus.

And in the 3rd Ward, incumbent Melissa Wynne reports having raised $2,100, far less than either of her two challengers. Alex Block says he’s raised $12,446, while Alex Morgan has logged $16,465 in cash and in-kind contributions. Block today also reported snagging a different kind of support — an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

That situation is reversed in the 8th Ward, where incumbent Ann Rainey has raised $8,464 to just $800 reported by challenger Rob Bady.

Then there are the two races to fill openings created by aldermen who are running for mayor.

In the 6th Ward contest for the seat being vacated by Mark Tendam, Virginia Mann reports raising $1,250 while Tom Suffredin reports no contributions so far.

In the 9th Ward contest for the seat being vacated by Brian Miller, Shawn Joens reports raising $6,700 while Cicely Fleming has raised $5,335.

Check the chart to see how much aldermanic candidates had spent from their campaign funds as of the the end of 2016.

There’s a primary election in the 5th Ward on Feb. 28. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote then, the two top finishers will be on the April 4 ballot — when all the other aldermanic contests will be decided.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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