Here’s a look at how deep candidates’ pockets have gotten this election season. All data is from the Illinois State Board of Elections and Illinois Sunshine, a nonpartisan campaign finance hub. Candidates are listed by race in the order from greatest to least amount raised. The Review pulled the numbers on:
Chris Harris – Citizens for Chris Harris
Harris estimated he would spend about $21,000 on his mayoral campaign at a forum on March 21, which was sponsored by the Forest Park Review and Forest Park Chamber of Commerce. He named an engineering firm, family and law firm as contributors. As of Jan. 12, he had raised $2,400, according to a state filing.
“I am the highest donor to my political committee,” Harris said at the forum. Over the years, Harris has donated $8,972 to Citizens for Chris Harris, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. This election, he has reported $1,094 in individual contributions, as well as $1,300 from A&P Com, a business Harris has described as a marketing agency. An insurance firm linked to James Parrilli is located at its address in Chicago.
Parrilli, formerly the mayor of Maywood and Proviso Township Republican Committeeman, is perhaps best known for punching out a Melrose Park Democratic Committeeman in 1988. He was subsequently hit with a lawsuit. In November 2015, Parilli was also the subject of a criminal investigation by the state’s attorney, after he sent misleading robo-calls to election judges telling them they needed to attend additional training before Election Day. The calls led to at least 2,000 judges being absent at the polls.
In an email, Harris told the Review that Parrilli has “nothing to do with my campaign.” On social media, he expanded on the contribution from A&P without directly naming Parilli, saying “A&P has a principal who has some political ties, but also, to my understanding, is a Forest Park property owner, his sister has held office here, and he has deep ties and numerous deep friendships here,” he wrote.
Angelyn Parrilli was elected village commissioner in 1991.
At a mayoral forum on March 10 — sponsored by the Review and Forest Park Public Library — Harris said he met Parrilli in 2015 when Parrilli was supporting a commissioner candidate. On social media, Harris said he has done some marketing work for him in the past, but that the relationship doesn’t go beyond “professional.” Harris said he believed Parrilli was also helping some District 91 school board candidates, as well as commissioner candidates.
After he donated to Harris’ campaign, “he attempted to insert himself into the campaign after that but I told him, kindly, that his help wasn’t needed,” Harris wrote.
Rory Hoskins – Hoskins for Mayor
At the March 21 forum, Hoskins estimated he would spend close to $17,000 this campaign. He said he has received a $1,000 donation from two residents in Forest Park, $500 from a couple in Oak Park and $500 from Infrastructure Engineering Inc., a minority-owned construction engineering firm that worked on the Roosevelt Road project.
“A very small portion is my money, under $400,” Hoskins said at the forum.
He has received $1,000 from Clancy Senechalle and her sister Anne D’Esposito, and started his campaign with $4,400 according to state data.
Forest Park Forward slate, comprising Julianne Bonwit, Jon Kubricht, Mark Boroughf, Jessica Voogd
Forest Park Forward has received $3,250 in donations, with Kubricht giving $1,250 and Boroughf giving $1,500, according to the state.
Daniel Novak – Citizens for Daniel J. Novak
Novak has reported $911.80 for his campaign, according to the state.
Ryan Nero – Nero for Forest Park Commissioner
Nero reported $500 at the start of his campaign, according to the state.
Ryan Russ – Citizens for Ryan Russ
Russ started his campaign with $100 in his pocket, according to the state.
Joe Byrnes – Friends of Joe Byrnes
Byrnes’ campaign committee hasn’t reported any donations since 2015, when Byrnes ran for commissioner.
Martin Tellalian – Citizens for Tellalian
Tellalian’s campaign committee hasn’t reported any donations since 2011, when he ran for mayor.
Proviso High Schools District 209 Board of Education
Sandy Aguirre – Sandy for 209
Sandy for 209 has at least $16,500 in her wallet, according to the state.
Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico, a committee that aims to keep the longtime Melrose Park village president in power, donated $10,000. The Melrose Park Civic Committee also donated $5,000 to Aguirre. Both committees have the same address and treasurer.
These contributions have raised alarm among some observers of the race, particularly Proviso Together supporters, who have pointed to state election data showing that Restore Construction and the Del Galdo Law Group — two companies that did business with D209 before the current board majority took over — have recently contributed money to Serpico’s campaign. So far this year and through 2018, the two groups contributed $6,750 to his political committee.
Throughout her campaign, Aguirre has stated that her connection to the Melrose Park mayor is based on common educational goals. She also said that she has reached out to other mayors and elected officials in Proviso Township asking for support.
During a Village Free Press candidate forum on March 2, Aguirre responded to whether or not the money from Serpico would affect her independence as a school board member.
“I ran against Serpico in the past twice myself,” she said. “I also helped my friends run in Melrose Park against Serpico. I also helped Proviso Together canvass and won and because of me, helping along with my colleagues, we won districts in Stone Park and Melrose Park.”
Neighbors in Action of Stone Park, a political action committee involved with the Stone Park trustee race, Northlake library board, Bellwood School District 88 board, and Proviso D209 race, donated $5,000 to Aguirre.
Proviso Together slate, comprising Nathan ‘Ned’ Wagner, Claudia Medina, Theresa Kelly
Proviso Together holds about $11,000 in its campaign chest, according to the state. Most of the group’s contributions have come from local businesses — including at least $300 from Mohr Oil, $1,000 from Forest Park National Bank, and $900 from Chris Guillen Photography — as well as the candidates themselves. Since last year, Wagner has donated about $415 and Medina about $700 to the campaign, according to state filings and reports on Illinois Sunshine.
Proviso United Party slate, comprising Laighton Scott, Denard Wade and Beverly Robertson
Proviso United held about $3,500 in its account, according to state filings from December 2018. The group’s primary donations appear to come from locals, a pair of Bellwood auto body firms — including Turi Autobody, which gave $300, and Yes Collision, which gave $200 — and the candidates themselves, who each donated $200 to the campaign. Antoinette Gray, a former supporter of Proviso Together turned vocal critic, has also donated $200 to Proviso United.
Forest Park District 91 Board of Education
None of the D91 candidates have reported any contributions to the state, but they do not have to register with the state unless they raise $5,000.
Staff Reporter Michael Romain contributed to this report
This article has been updated to reflect that Hoskins received $1,000 for residents Clancy Senechalle and her sister Anne D’Esposito. Senechalle has not now, or ever, served as a judge, which the Review previously characterized her as. Senechalle is a private citizen who made the contribution.