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Paul Vallas after casting his ballot in Chicago
Paul Vallas after casting his ballot in Chicago, on Feb. 28, 2023.Kamil Krzaczynski / Getty Images file

Vallas outspending Johnson in Chicago mayoral race

Since the Feb. election, the candidates have spent a combined $2.6 million on TV campaign ads, per ad tracking firm AdImpact.


In Chicago's closely-watched mayoral race, the two remaining candidates — former Chicago schools CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson — have spent over $2.6 million on TV ads since the February 28 election.

But, Vallas is significantly outspending Johnson, almost 2-to-1. Vallas has spent almost $1,739,000, while Johnson has spent just $922,000 since the election.

Ahead of the April 4 runoff, Vallas has reserved almost $1.2 million worth of additional airtime over the next few weeks and Johnson has reserved almost $569,000 worth of airtime.

That can change — each candidate can add to or take away from the airtime they've reserved.

The difference in spending is stark, though, especially as both candidates have gone on the offensive in their recent campaign ads.

In one ad, Johnson calls Vallas "shady" and accuses him of being a member of the Republican party running as a Democrat. In another ad, Vallas shoots back, with a narrator accusing Johnson's campaign of "editing decade-old video to mislead Chicagoans about Paul Vallas." 

Vallas' campaign has gotten donations from business leaders across Illinois, while Johnson's campaign has accepted major donations from Illinois' teachers union and a healthcare workers union, among others.

Vallas also wrote his own campaign a $100,000 check after the runoff, lifting campaign contribution restrictions for himself and Johnson.