Chicago City Council races where Illinois Realtors spending paid off — and where it didn’t

Three candidates who received most money from trade group flounder

From left: Kim Walz, Andre Peloquin and Ebony Lucas
From left: Kim Walz, Andre Peloquin and Ebony Lucas

Real estate trade organization Illinois REALTORS may strike out with the Chicago City Council candidates who received the most campaign funding from the group.

Of the three candidates the group supported with the largest donations, none appear to have won their contests outright, and only one is in position to head to a runoff election set for April 4 as of Wednesday morning’s unofficial tally. While election results aren’t yet certified, all highlighted races have 100 percent of precincts reporting. The trade group spent about $400,000 in 19 aldermanic races, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Andre Peloquin, the candidate that received the most from the group, in the 48th Ward, garnered only 2.4 percent of the vote. Peloquin is a residential real estate broker and the group spent roughly $66,000 on him.

In the 46th Ward, the group supported Kim Walz, who received $65,000 from the REALTORS fund and is likely headed to a runoff. She’s in second place with 26 percent of the vote, behind Anglea Clay.

The group also spent $56,000 in support on Ebony Lucas, a real estate attorney, in the 4th Ward. Lucas came in third in the race with only 14.5 percent of the vote. She may still have a chance at a runoff, however, and only trails the second-place candidate by 60 votes.

Illinois REALTORS is a 501(c)6 trade organization that represents the interests of real estate professionals. The group, along with its national and Chicago counterparts, funds the Illinois REALTORS Fund.

The group is still evaluating last night’s election results, it said in a statement.

Anthony Hebron, the group’s Vice President, Marketing & Communications, said they believe the group’s financial support helped bring awareness to housing issues in the city.

As for the mayor’s race, which is heading to a runoff between Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas after incumbent Lori Lightfoot finished third, Hebron said the group doesn’t endorse specific candidates, but may offer financial support to “candidates who will help improve Chicago’s communities by creating more available and affordable housing and protecting homeowners’ rights.”

“We have engaged in conversations with both mayoral candidates regarding their views on improving Chicago, its communities and creating more available and affordable housing,” he said. “We will do an analysis and make a decision soon.”

Here’s where the rest of the Chicago alderman candidates who received funding from Illinois REALTORS stand in their races as of Wednesday morning.

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The group supported several incumbents that won easy victories on Tuesday night. In total, the group supported 10 incumbent city council members who won decisively. Michelle Harris, 8th Ward, Anthony Beale, 9th Ward, Raymond Lopez, 15th Ward, Stephanie Coleman, 16th Ward, Derrick Curtis, 18th Ward, Matt O’Shea, 19th Ward, Silvana Tabares, 23rd Ward, Felix Cardona, 31st Ward, Samantha Nugent, 39th Ward, and Debra Silverstein, 50th Ward, all won their seats with more than 60 percent of the vote.


Most of those candidates received less than $6,000 from the REALTORS fund. Several of the candidates received more with Tabaras receiving $16,500, Silverstein receiving $10,000 and Nugent receiving $11,000. 


Anabel Abarca, a Lightfoot appointee in the 12th Ward, appears to be one of the few incumbents backed by the group to lose outright on Tuesday night. She garnered 43.5 percent of the vote, with her opponent Julie Ramirez getting 56.5 percent. The group spent over $31,000 on Abarca.

Too Close to Call

Nicole Lee, who was appointed to her 11th Ward seat by outgoing Lightfoot, is leading with only 17 votes ahead of the second-place finisher and will be going to a runoff. She garnered 30.5 percent of the vote and received $23,700 from Illinois REALTORS.

Lee was one of four Lightfoot appointees that received money from the group. Monique Scott, the incumbent in the 24th Ward, is leading but will also likely go to a runoff, with 45 percent of the vote. She received $37,600 from the fund. Timmy Knudsen, who is running to keep his seat in the 43rd, also got $37,000 from the group. He is also ahead but will go to a runoff with just 27 percent of the vote.

The group spent $7,000 on Jessica Gutierrez, a candidate in the 30th ward who is currently leading but will likely head to a runoff with only 38 percent of the vote. Gilbert Villegas, the incumbent running in the 36th Ward race got $11,000 from the group and is leading but will also likely go to the runoff with 47.8 percent of the vote.

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