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What mayoral candidates bought

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Evanston mayoral candidates differed widely in how they chose to spend money they raised for this year’s campaign.


Evanston mayoral candidates differed widely in how they chose to spend money they raised for this year’s campaign.

Campaign finance disclosure reports reviewed after this week’s filing deadline show that the only spending category they all agreed on was printing.

All four candidates spent a substantial portion of their campaign funds on buttons, yard signs, brochures, fliers and other printed pieces. Printing costs added up to just under 39 percent of total spending in the race.

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Three of the four spent money on consultants or other paid staff, with only Lindwall, who finished last, dropping out of that spending category. Overall, consultants consumed nearly 18 percent of the money spent on the election.

Postage costs for direct mail were a big item for the winner, Elizabeth Tisdahl, and a minor spending item for Stuart Opdycke, who finished second. That category accounted for just under 17 percent overall, although Dinges, who finished third, and Lindwall reported no postage expenses.

Media ads drew spending from all the candidates except Dinges, who said he wanted to focus on a door-to-door “grassroots” campaign. The campaigns spent the bulk of their media money on print ads in the Evanston Review and Evanston RoundTable, but the first and second place finishers also bought ads on Evanston Now. Overall, media ads accounted for just over 13 percent of spending in the mayoral race.

Food and entertainment costs played a big role in spending by the Tisdahl campaign, but accounted for only thin slices of campaign spending for Opdycke and Lindwall. Overall, the candidates spent just under 7 percent of their campaign funds on food and entertainment for campaign events.

Only Tisdahl reported spending any money on legal advice for the campaign. That amounted to just over 4 percent of total spending by all candidates. And only Dinges paid rent for a campaign office, and he was the only candidate reporting having spent money on car rentals. Overall rent costs accounted for a little over 2 percent of campaign spending.

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