Illinois Realtors kick in another $15k in aldermen runoffs

Trade association backing Villegas, Knudsen for City Council

Illinois REALTORS' Jeff Baker, Alderman Timmy Knudsen and Alderman Gilbert Villegas
Illinois REALTORS' Jeff Baker, Alderman Timmy Knudsen and Alderman Gilbert Villegas (Illinois REALTORS, Knudsenfor43, 36thward, Getty)

Illinois Realtors is voting with its membership’s wallet. The trade organization poured another $15,000 into its preferred candidates’ bids for City Council as they head into the April 4 runoff, with other real estate advocacy groups piling on an additional $10,000.

The Realtors fund on March 25 gave $10,000 to 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas, who’s defending his seat and facing teacher and Chicago Teachers Union executive board member Lori Torres Whitt. 

The group’s political action committee also contributed $5,000 to 43rd Ald. Timmy Knudsen on March 24. Knudsen, appointed by outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot last year, is the former chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals and faces consultant Brian Comer in the runoff. 

An Illinois Realtors spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The Chicagoland Apartment Association also gave its support to Villegas and Knudsen with more modest contributions of $1,000 to each candidate over the last week.

Villegas also received two $2,500 donations from Chicago developers Blue Star Properties and R2 Companies, and the same total from CBRE executive Luke Molloy.

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Knudsen also enjoyed support from political action committees for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, which gave $2,000 on March 22. The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, got in on the action too, with a $1,500 contribution on March 17. He also got $2,500 from Chicago developer Elzie Higginbottom on March 9.

The state hospitality group’s fund this month also doled out $1,500 to aldermanic candidates Monique Scott and Nicole Lee, whom the Realtors fund backed in the Feb. 28 election.

Another real estate trade group, the Neighborhood Building Owners Association, gave $1,000 apiece to Knudsen and Scott this month.

A political action committee tied to the influential Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers has also made its bets on the aldermanic runoffs. The construction union fund gave $7,500 to Villegas, $5,000 apiece to Knudsen and Lee, and $2,500 to Scott.

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