Pritzker Tops Trump to Become America's Richest Politician: Forbes - NBC Chicago
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Pritzker Tops Trump to Become America's Richest Politician: Forbes

The Hyatt heir and venture capitalist spent more than $171 million of his wealth to become governor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pritzker Praises Voters in Election Night Victory Speech

    A victorious J.B. Pritzker addressed his supporters Tuesday night after beating out Gov. Bruce Rauner in a massively expensive and bitter election.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018)

    Democrat J.B. Pritzker, who won the race for Illinois governor Tuesday night, will now become America's richest politician, topping President Donald Trump for the title.

    The Hyatt heir and venture capitalist who spent more than $171 million of his wealth to become governor in what became known as Illinois' battle of the billionaires, has an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.

    That's just above the $3.1 billion for President Trump, according to the publication. 

    Pritzker defeated incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and two other candidates in one of the most expensive gubernatorial campaigns in U.S. history, claiming victory in the contentious statewide race just minutes after polls closed.

    Rauner Calls For Unity in Concession Speech

    [CHI] Rauner Calls For Unity in Concession Speech
    Gov. Bruce Rauner called for an end to partisan politics Tuesday in his concession speech after losing his bid for re-election to J.B. Pritzker.
    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018)

    Rauner, a near-billionaire whose net worth is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars after a career in private equity, was another self-funding candidate in the race. He had dumped roughly $67.75 million dollars in his campaign fund since he first won in 2014, $50 million of that all at once in December 2016.

    "In Illinois we have a history of building ourselves up from broken places, and the bonds we form in the process become the steel girders that hold us all together," Pritzker said during his victory speech. "I see those bonds in communities all across the state of Illinois, communities touched by both triumph and tragedy."

    Pritzker is a member of the billionaire Pritzker family, best known for owning the Hyatt hotel chain. 

    He poured more than $171.5 million of his personal fortune into his campaign beginning in 2017, more than any other self-financed candidate in the country’s history.

    That cash bought him a massive field operation and hours of advertising airtime to put him over the top. Pritzker’s years spent as a Democratic donor and behind-the-scenes power player also helped him earn the backing and endorsement of the party early on, including the likes of former President Barack Obama, among others.

    In the end, that wasn’t enough to put him over the top, and in January, Pritzker will become, not just the 43rd governor of the state of Illinois, but the richest sitting politician in the country. 

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