Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert, who was re-elected last week, and his Better Belleville Good Government Party raised more than $47,000 in the three months leading up to the election.
One of Eckert's opponents, Joe Hayden, and Hayden's coalition of independent candidates, raised about one-fifth of the money Eckert did.
Hayden lost by 470 votes, according to final but unofficial results. Four of the independents Hayden supported won, increasing the total number of political newcomers and independents serving on the Belleville City Council.
"I believe that I ran the best campaign that I could with a shoestring amount of funds that were given to us," Hayden said the day after the April 9 election.
Hayden, who will serve another two years as Ward 5 alderman, raised $4,350, between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to a quarterly report due Monday with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Hayden and candidates of the Unified Independent Coalition for All of Belleville raised an additional $5,765.
Eckert's other opponent, Phil Elmore, raised $9,964 this past quarter. The total includes donations to his campaign partner, Ward 4 Alderman Dean Hardt, who ran successfully for Belleville city treasurer.
Elmore will end his term as Ward 7 alderman later this month when the newly elected council members are seated.
Eckert got 2,727 votes, Hayden got 2,257 votes and Elmore got 1,513 votes. These figures do not include provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots, which will be counted later this month before the results are made official.
Eckert and his party raised thousands more than his opponents in the city's first three-way race for mayor since 1997.
This past quarter, Citizens for Eckert raised $2,175 and the Good Government Party raised $45,695.
Eckert's Good Government Party backed clerk, treasurer and eight aldermanic candidates in the Belleville election. Half these candidates did not win.
Eckert said he is thankful to everyone who donated.
"Campaigns are expensive," Eckert said. "Elections aren't cheap."
Eckert said it was difficult -- as the incumbent -- to find time to campaign and knock on doors. Eckert said his donations reflect his support base: a mix of businesses, professionals, retirees.
"I'm very proud of the variety of people who believe in what we're doing," Eckert said.
Eckert's highest single contributor in recent months was Benefit Administrative Systems, which donated $1,000 to Citizens for Eckert. The Homeside, Ill.-based company was the city's third-party administrator for health insurance this past year. The City Council on April 1 decided to go with another insurance group.
Some of the highest single contributors to Eckert's Good Government Party in recent months were $1,500 from attorney Russell K. Scott; $1,000 from Fred Kern, who is the father of St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern; and $1,000 from Edward Vowell, a diplomat for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Eckert and the Good Government Party also received campaign donations from Belleville city employees, elected officials in other cities, unions and trade groups.
Between April and Dec. 31 last year, Citizens for Eckert raised $32,800 and the Good Government Party raised $5,551. The party combined raised more money than that in the three months leading up to the election.
Hayden, excluding money donated to his independents coalition, raised $4,350 this last quarter. He raised $5,705 between August and December last year.
The highest single contributors to Hayden this last quarter were several $500 donations from various individuals. These contributors are not named because the online filing with the State Board of Elections was not legible and Hayden did not immediately return a call for clarification.
Hayden has said that he had transferred money from the Citizens for Joe Hayden account to the Unified Independent Coalition for All of Belleville to support the coalition's eight other independent candidates.
"This was more than about just me," Hayden said. "This was for the city as a whole."
One of the candidates Hayden supports, Dallas Cook, who ran successfully for city clerk, was the only candidate in the Belleville election aside from the mayoral candidates who filed an individual quarterly report. Cook received $2,810 in donations.
Elmore said Tuesday the election results show that Belleville residents want change.
Some residents, realtors and landlords supported either Hayden or Elmore for mayor depending on their views on the proposed crime-free housing ordinance, Elmore said.
Elmore said independent realtors donated to his and Hardt's campaign.
"They liked our message of how we were going to work toward getting vacant homes occupied by homeowners and first-time homebuyers," Elmore said. "They appreciated that effort."
Elmore and Hardt, together, raised $9,964 this past quarter. They raised $13,436 between June and December.
The highest single contributor to Elmore's Committee to Elect Mayor & Treasurer for a Better Belleville remains the group's campaign manager, Mary E. Kelley, who gave $1,000 this past quarter.
Elmore made the same assertion he did after the previous quarterly filing: His campaign was the only one that did not spend money outside of Belleville for campaign services such as printing fliers and mailers.
"You're running for mayor of Belleville; You should be buying Belleville," Elmore said. "We did, and I'm proud of that."
Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.