Ahead of the Chicago elections, the Illinois Opportunity Project is releasing a detailed look at each of the 180 candidates for elected office. The report includes individual voting records, campaign contributions and donations, and property taxes paid for candidates for Chicago Mayor, Clerk, Treasurer, and Alderman of the 50 Wards.

In Chicago, candidates for City office shed their political labels and affiliations and identify themselves as non-partisan in their races.

Though candidates don’t technically run as Republicans or Democrats, they bring their affiliations, policy preferences, and political alliances to their campaigns and eventually to government. Candidates often receive support from political parties and partisans in the forms of money, volunteers and workers, and endorsements.

For example, Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle is currently the Chair of the Cook County Democratic Party and the elected Cook County Board President, an office she ran for as a Democrat.

Susana Mendoza, another candidate for mayor, is currently Illinois’ Comptroller. In 2018, she ran as a Democrat for that office, defeating Republican Jim Dodge. Before serving as Comptroller, Mendoza was elected Chicago’s City clerk in a nonpartisan election. And before that, Mendoza ran and won four races for State Representative as a Democrat. Mendoza’s political career is marked by switching between partisan and “nonpartisan” elections without changing her personal political affiliation.

These examples are merely meant to show how thin the veneer of non-partisanship in municipal elections is.

Using this report, voters dig below the non-partisan labels and review the voting histories of candidates running on Tuesday empowering them to make an informed decision.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Of the 180 candidates, only eight or 4% voted in a Republican primary in the last two cycles.
  • Among the 14 candidates for Mayor, not a single one voted in a Republican primary in 2016 or 2018.
  • Of the 180 candidates, 66 candidates did not pay any property taxes in 2016.
  • Leslie Fox, candidate for Alderman in the 43rd Ward, paid the highest property taxes of any candidate, paying $36,581 in 2016 on her single family home.
  • Bill Daley paid the highest property taxes of the candidates for Mayor – $25,579.67 for a condo on Lake Shore Drive.

Four of the mayoral candidates did not report paying any property taxes on their primary residences in 2016.

The Illinois Opportunity Project seeks to educate voters on public policy issues and candidates who are running for office. An informed and engaged electorate will improve the quality of candidate elected and improve the policies implemented in Chicago, and across the state.

To view your candidates’ voting history and full details click the link below.

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