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Don't Expect Will Burns Back Soon With 95 Percent Of Campaign Cash Gone

By Sam Cholke | April 20, 2016 5:45am | Updated on April 22, 2016 11:46am
 Don't expect former Ald. Will Burns (4th) to come back to politics soon with 95 percent of his campaign cash spent.
Don't expect former Ald. Will Burns (4th) to come back to politics soon with 95 percent of his campaign cash spent.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

HYDE PARK — Former Ald. Will Burns (4th) has nearly emptied his campaign fund, making it unlikely he will return to politics in the near future.

Burns had spent down 95 percent of his campaign shortly after leaving office on March 1 for a job at AirBnB, according to Illinois State Board of Elections records.

When Burns stepped down, colleagues predicted he could return to politics.

“Just because you’ve stepped away from what you’re doing clearly doesn’t mean you can’t come back — the mayor did it,” said state Sen. Kwame Raoul at the time, referencing Rahm Emanuel’s two-year stint in investment banking before returning to politics.

That now looks less likely with $64,451 of Burns’ campaign cash spent, leaving $3,134 in the bank.

Burns did not return calls for comment.

The majority of Burns’ campaign money, $25,000, went to help state Rep. Christian Mitchell win his primary race to retain the 26th District seat Burns left to become the 4th Ward alderman.

He also gave Angelica Alfaro $8,500 in her unsuccessful primary race against Omar Aquino for the state Senate seat Willie Delgado was giving up.

Burns did not give any money to Sophia King, whom Emanuel appointed as Burns’ replacement until a special election is held in February, or anyone else known to be considering a run for 4th Ward alderman.

There were no parties and no lavish spending by Burns shown in the reports released this week. He appears to have spent much of the remainder of his campaign money paying down cellphone and legal bills from his last campaign.

The only money he spent after leaving office was a $1,000 donation to the 4th Ward Community Service Organization, which runs events like the annual Seniors Ball and Health and Housing Fair with the alderman’s office, and a $300 donation to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Burns has not closed the campaign fund yet and could still use it to solicit funds in the future.

State law requires he use the money to seek future office, give it to someone else seeking office or to a charity. He could also pay himself a fee to administer the remaining funds.

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