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Vote challenge costly to both sides

The legal challenge to last spring’s First Ward aldermanic election in Evanston continues to chew up money for both sides. The total cost to the campaigns now tops $30,000.>

Campaign finance reports filed with the state show that losing candidate Judy Fiske spent $9,784 on fees to her attorney Richard K. Means in the last six months of 2005 in her effort to unseat Cheryl Wollin.

During the same period Ms. Wollin spent $9,293 on fees to her attorney Jeff Smith trying to hang onto her position.

Between the April and June 30, Ms. Fiske spent $6,615 on attorney’s fees, while Ms. Wollin spent $5,000.

During the last half of the year Ms. Fiske received $8,000 in contributions from Jean Lindwall of 625 Library Place, who has joined her as a plaintiff in the lawsuit,
along with $1,005 in contributions from several other donors. Her campaign showed a year-end balance of $404.

During the same period Ms. Wollin received a total of $1,200 in contributions from four different donors. She has spent down the surplus left over from election day and her campaign fund balance of $1,699 is less than the $5,000 loan it received from from Ellen Newcomer of 2445 Ridgeway Ave.

Ms. Fiske’s lawsuit claims that Northwestern University tried to influence the election by giving rewards to students who voted. The university has denied the charges.

Ms. Wollin received 736 votes in the April 5 election to 655 votes for Ms. Fiske.

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