Skip to main content

Jacob Wu '21 discusses research on mayoral campaign donations

Farrell Fellow Jacob Wu '21: Following the Money

Wu and Professor Ogorzalek create searchable database of Chicago mayoral race fundraising

Jacob Wu (SESP '21) and Political Science Assistant Professor Tom Ogorzalek came together through the Department of Political Science's R. Barry Farrell Fellowship Program. This elite opportunity matches outstanding students and faculty members to conduct funded research on a variety of topics related to political science. Their collaborative research project was based on a simple question:  Who is contributing to the dozen 2019 Chicago mayoral candidates?

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, it is not just Chicagoans or even Illinois residents. Wu and Ogorzalek used the financial data candidates and campaigns are required to submit to the Illinois Board of Elections to track and detail where contributions for each candidate are coming from. This allowed them to use ArcGIS mapping and analytics software to make a detailed and interactive national map of each donation for their article "A View of the Money Behind Chicago's Mayoral Election." 



  • $21 million has been raised so far by candidates as of February 7, 2019.
  • $12.2 million from 2,900 contributions in the City of Chicago.
  • $5.9 million from 1,543 contributions made by Illinois residents.
  • $3.2 million from 767 contributions from outside the state. 
Want to examine each contribution? Click the map below.