Rey Colon

Unions spend big in Chicago City Council races

Unions spend big in Chicago City Council races

Just as deep-pocketed business leaders are contributing cash to help Mayor Rahm Emanuel maintain a City Council that backs his agenda, major unions are doling out dollars to try to reshape a council more to their liking.

Unions funded by rank-and-file workers spent nearly $1.7 million on last week's aldermanic elections in direct contributions and on broadcast ads, mailers and polling, according to campaign finance and union records. That's more than double the $820,000 or so spent by Chicago Forward, a pro-Emanuel super PAC fueled by contributions from corporate interests.

Both the unions and Chicago Forward scored victories — and suffered losses. It's harder to quantify...