Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner (L) and his wife Diana walk home after voting in the Illinois primary election on March 18, 2014 in Winnetka, Illinois. Rauner, a private equity manager, faces off against State Senator Bill Brady, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Senator Kirk Dillard in the Republican primary. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and opponent Bruce Rauner have collectively spent more cash this election cycle than any other governor's race in recent state history.
Crunching the numbers, the Chicago Sun-Times reports a 335-percent increase in campaign spending for the period between the March 18 primary to the end of June, when the Chicago Democrat and the Republican venture capitalist blew through $8 million early into an increasingly hostile battle for Springfield's highest office.
By contrast, Quinn and then-GOP challenger Bill Brady shelled out a collective $1.8 mllion during 2010's gubernatorial match-up.
Since winning the Republican primary, Rauner hit the gas on spending and funneled $7 million into a media push, consultants and other campaign expenses. Quinn, for his part, spent $1 million in that three-month period.
Money seems to be no object for Rauner, a multi-millionaire who made his fortune in the private equity business. He's poured about $10 million of his own dough into his campaign, and boasts a network of wealthy political donors who are willing to contribute millions to help Rauner defeat Quinn.
In 2013, the loophole-savvy businessman legally gamed the system when he wrote himself a check for at least $250,000, thereby releasing a campaign finance cap on political contributions imposed after the free-spending, reckless reign of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
While Quinn had some $11.7 million stashed in his war chest as of July, Rauner -- who cited $7.2 million -- has recently raised more money than the incumbent in the months leading up to the election.
"You ain’t seen nothing yet, to borrow a phrase. Historically, campaigns don’t ramp up until after Labor Day," David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Institute, tells the Sun-Times, predicting "there’s more to come."