Breaking down Johnson, Vallas campaign contributions in the mayoral runoff

In the three weeks since Chicago voters narrowed a crowded field of nine mayoral candidates to two — Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and former CPS CEO Paul Vallas — Vallas has raised $5.6 million in campaign contributions to Johnson’s $3.9 million.

The two candidates have raised a whopping $9.6 million since Election Day in their quest to succeed outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot, according to reports to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Ahead of the April 4 runoff, they’re on track to blow past the $10.2 million they already reported collecting in the months leading to the Feb 28 election.

Johnson’s total also includes $1.4 million in contributions too small to be immediately reported to the state, which shows “the majority of our contributions are small-dollar, while the majority of our opponent's contributions are high-dollar,” campaign spokesman Ronnie Reese says.

Vallas campaign spokesman Philip Swibinski did not provide a total of smaller contributions but says, “We have been able to attract over 1,000 individual contributors, with the vast majority being located in Chicago because Paul's message of putting crime reduction and public safety first is resonating with people throughout the community.”

Candidates in Illinois aren’t required to report the names of contributors who give less than $150 per quarter but must report the totals received four times a year.

Money given, loans, transfers and in-kind contributions all are listed here as contributions.

Since the Feb 28 general election, big money contributors have given at least $8,190,167 Names behind this money must be reported to the state.

Where's the money coming from?


$2,521,017 31% of all itemized contributions


$5,669,150 69% of all itemized contributions

56% of itemzied contributions came from inside Chicago

an additional 21% came from inside Illinois

leaving Johnson with 23% of itemized contributions coming from outside the state.

70% of itemized contributions came from inside Chicago

an additional 26% came from inside Illinois

4% came from outside of Illinois

When broken down by income within Chicago, Johnson’s itemized contributions primarily come from ZIP codes where the median income is less than $75,000.

Vallas’ contributions come from wealthier Chicago ZIP codes.



Median income based on ZIP code of contributor
$25,000 $50,000 $75,000 $100,000 $125,000 $150,000 $200,000 $225,000 N/A Outside Chicago

The majority of Johnson's itemzied contributions in Chicago come from areas where the median income is between $50k and $75k.

$25,000 $50,000 $75,000 $100,000 $125,000 $150,000 $175,000 $200,000 $225,000 $250,000 $275,000 N/A Outside Chicago

When broken down by education level, contributions from ZIP codes where more residents tend to have a bachelor’s degree or higher skewed in favor of Vallas.



% of residents in contributor's ZIP code with a bachelor's degree
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% N/A Outside Chicago 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% N/A Outside Chicago

Few of these donors shifted their allegiance after the Feb. 28 election. Those who did keep writing checks had primarily supported Lori Lightfoot in the first round.


$5,000 (0.2% of contributions)


$160,000 (3% of contributions)
Originally contributed to
Lori Lightfoot Lucy Ascoli $2,000
Lori Lightfoot Aaron Collard $2,000
Sophia King Ujamaa Construction Inc. $1,000
Lori Lightfoot Virginia Bobins $10,000
Lori Lightfoot Tom O'Reilly $50,000
Ald. Roderick Sawyer Magellan Development Group LLC $25,000
Lori Lightfoot / Jesus “Chuy” Garcia Purple PAC $25,000
Lori Lightfoot Blue Star Properties Inc. $10,000
Lori Lightfoot John Simpson $10,000
Lori Lightfoot Scott Weiner $11,000
Lori Lightfoot Billy Lawless $5,000
Lori Lightfoot Robert Melman $5,000
Lori Lightfoot Sandya Dandamudi $2,500
Lori Lightfoot / Jesus “Chuy” Garcia Antonio Romanucci $2,000
Lori Lightfoot Lee Miller $2,000
Kam Buckner James Anderson $1,000
Lori Lightfoot Dennis Mondero $1,000
Lori Lightfoot / Kam Buckner Jonathan Gillespie $1,000

Johnson held onto a share of loyal supporters who had contributed to him in the first round of voting and then gave again for the runoff, making up 70% of Johnson’s itemized contributions ahead of round two of voting.

Vallas instead attracted an influx of brand new contributors. His return contributors account for 39% of what he’s collected toward the runoff.



American Federation of Teachers COPE - Voluntary A/C $568,500
Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE $500,000
SEIU Healthcare IL IN PAC $506,759
Craig Duchossois Executive Chair of The Duchossois Group $500,000
Donald R. Wilson CEO of DRW Holdings $250,000
James N. Perry, Jr Managing Director Madison Dearborn Partners $200,000
Gerald Beeson COO of Citadel $100,000