Des Plaines mayoral race was an expensive one, new records show
The race for mayor in Des Plaines was an expensive one, with all three candidates building five-figure war chests for signs, mailers and other campaign needs.
Ultimately, the candidate who raised the most money in the three months leading up to Election Day -- 8th Ward Alderman Andrew Goczkowski, whose campaign collected more than $44,000 and spent nearly all of it -- came out on top.
Candidates for local, county or state offices who raise or spend at least $5,000 must file quarterly financial disclosure reports with the Illinois State Board of Elections. They must also file individual reports for donations of $1,000 or more as they come in.
The most recently quarterly reports, covering transactions conducted between Jan. 1 and March 30, were due April 15. Election Day was April 6.
Reports are viewable online at elections.il.gov.
Goczkowski defeated 6th Ward Alderman Malcolm Chester and former 8th Ward Alderman Mike Charewicz to win the mayor's post, a part-time job with a $9,600 annual salary. He'll be sworn in May 3.
A grant coordinator for Democratic U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Goczkowski said he won't leave that job while serving as mayor. But he has turned over Des Plaines issues to a different staffer to prevent conflicts of interest.
The Friends of Andrew Goczkowski committee received $13,315 in contributions from individuals and $20,250 in transfers from other political committees.
Notable donors included:
• The campaign committee for Des Plaines 2nd Ward Ald. Colt Moylan, which gave $500.
• The campaign committee for Moylan's father, Democratic state Rep. Marty Moylan of Des Plaines, which gave $500.
• Illinois state Sen. Laura Fine, a Glenview Democrat, who gave $500.
• $1,000 from Schakowsky's campaign committee.
• $2,500 from Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider's campaign committee.
Goczkowski reported $13,500 in donations from various labor unions, too.
Goczkowski also personally lent the committee about $10,601, bringing the group's quarterly receipts to about $44,166.
Additionally, WCPY 92.7 FM, a Polish radio station for the Chicago area, donated $2,500 worth of advertising, records show.
Goczkowski's committee spent more than $41,635 on printing, advertising and other services during the quarter. It ended March with $2,531 saved.
The spending, Goczkowski said, was absolutely necessary.
"There are certain things you need to do to be competitive in a race like this," he said. "Just making sure you're getting your name and your points of view in front of voters ... is a big challenge."
The Citizens for Malcolm Chester committee was funded entirely by the candidate, records show.
Chester lent the group $21,000 during the first quarter and another $2,000 on April 2.
Chester spent $19,817 on yard signs, mailings, a consultant and other expenses during the quarter, records show. His committee ended the quarter with about $1,220 saved.
The Citizens to Elect Mike Charewicz committee reported $5,770 in donations from individuals during the quarter. Charewicz also lent the campaign $10,900 in March, reports show, resulting in a quarterly revenue total of $16,670.
Team Charewicz's biggest individual backer was Park Ridge attorney George Reveliotis, who gave $2,500. All other donations were $500 or less.
Charewicz's business, Accurate Auto Clinic, donated $2,530 worth of yard signs, too, reports show.
Charewicz's committee spent about $8,060 on brochures and lawn signs during the quarter. It finished March with more than $8,609 in the bank.