ROGERS PARK — Ald. Joe Moore nearly doubled his campaign fund to $114,333 in the final few months of 2014, accepting donations from developers, business owners and residents from inside and outside of his 49th Ward, records show.
At the end of October, the 23-year alderman's Citizens for Joe Moore campaign account totaled $63,000. But in the final three months of the year, as the race for his seat began to heat up, he collected $104,900 and spent $55,000, according to a quarterly report filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Most of Moore's donors provided addresses outside of the ward he represents, and many included business owners, developers and investors.
Grace Araya, of daycare Eyes on the Future, donated $1,000. Bruno's Lounge donated $500. Tony Fox, of The New 400, donated $1,000. Fresh Market Ideas, operator of Morse Fresh Market, donated $2,500.
But some contributors recently won the support of the alderman at City Hall for concessions to lift liquor moratoriums and open businesses.
Pradeep Patel, who now owns two liquor stores in the ward, won the support of Moore to open Hops and Grapes in the former Isam's Liquor Store on Sheridan Road.
A frequent contributor, Patel donated $1,000 at the end of December.
Go Grocer, an independent grocery chain that intends to open in Loyola University's Granada Center, also won the support of Moore, who sponsored an ordinance to lift a liquor moratorium on the block so the store could sell packaged goods.
The company donated $500 to the alderman in December.
Moore denies he's influenced by donations.
"The contributions did not influence my decisions because I did not solicit nor receive the contributions until several months had passed following the City Council's adoption of the respective ordinances," he said in an email Wednesday.
Moore said he sometimes personally solicits donations — and other times "the donor simply makes the donation after receiving an invitation to a fundraiser."
Moore added that he sponsored an advisory referendum on the Feb. 24 citywide ballot that asks voters whether Chicago elections should be publicly funded.
Other contributors to Moore's campaign included developer David Gassman ($1,500), who bought property on Morse Avenue in 2014 and Christopher Woods ($1,500), president of Three Corners Development Inc., which built the new Heartland Health Center building on Devon Avenue.
Three corners also plans to build a mixed commercial residential building at 1301 W. Devon Ave. in the 48th Ward and a mixed commercial residential building at 1240-44 W. Devon Ave. in the 49th Ward.
The company doesn't need any zoning changes to build the proposed developments.
Salim Ucan, an executive of Concept Schools, which runs the Chicago Math and Science Academy on Clark Street, donated $2,500 at the end of the year.
In addition, James Yoo, owner of the Morse Avenue strip mall that recently evicted all of its tenants, donated $500 in November.
But residents also donated to Moore, including $300 from Mary Bao and $200 from Robert Fields.
Of the more than $100,000 collected, Moore spent $9,484 on campaign staff, records show, including $300 to Eric Glatstein, who filed the successful objections to all of Moore's opponents except for long-time rival Don Gordon.
Moore also spent $11,415.25 on caterers and restaurants, including $997.57 at Uptown's Hopleaf for a staff holiday party.
Moore also paid $6,000 to KJD Strategies, a fundraising consultant.
Gordon, who lost to Moore by 251 votes in a 2007 runoff, vowed to not collect any donations to fund his campaign, using just $2,500 of his own money.
Moore reacted to Gordon's strategy in an interview earlier this month with the North Town News Magazine's Avy Meyers.
"Those are the kinds of opponents that every incumbent wishes for," Moore said.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: