CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Remember the good ol' days when political candidates gave away buttons and bumper stickers to promote their candidacies? In Chicago those days are over.
Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, congressman and current candidate for mayor of Chicago, Thursday opened an online store hawking mugs ($13.95), T-shirts ($16.95), bumper stickers ($1.95) and campaign buttons ($2.95). The campaign booty can be found at store.chicagoforrahm.com.
"We just launched our new Chicago for Rahm Online Store, and I'd like to invite you to take a look. Show your support for our candidate with a Rahm for Mayor T-shirt, button, coffee mug, or bumper sticker," a release from campaign manager Scott Fairchild invited.
Emanuel, who is fighting to keep his place on the ballot in a dispute over whether he's been a legal resident of the city while serving in the White House, is arguably the best-financed candidate in the race. The Chicago Tribune reported he entered the race with a $1 million war chest, and that figure is expected to grow substantially when campaign finance reports are released Jan. 20.
One of Emanuel's opponents, Gary Chico, announced this week he has raised $2.5 million so far and has 40 fundraising events lined up.
Also running for mayor are former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, whose federal income tax returns show she made less than $16,000 in 2009, and Miguel De Valle, who trumpeted his campaign on WBBM-AM, Chicago, as the most poorly financed.
Chicago's first at-large mayoral election is scheduled for Feb. 22.