Pritzker Donates Another $7M to Campaign, Bringing Total to $76.5M - NBC Chicago
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Pritzker Donates Another $7M to Campaign, Bringing Total to $76.5M

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pritzker, Rauner Win Primaries, Setting Stage for Battle of the Billionaires

    With the primary behind them, two of Illinois’ wealthiest businessmen-turned-politicians can turn their full attention to one another. Susan Carlson reports.

    (Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018)

    Democratic candidate for Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker gave his campaign committee another $7 million contribution, bringing the total amount of money he's put into his effort to more than $76.5 million thus far.

    Pritzker's contribution was made Tuesday, according to filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections. It marked the tenth time the billionaire Hyatt heir has given his committee a $7 million dollar contribution in less than a year.

    Pritzker, who is entirely self-funding his campaign, started an exploratory committee in March 2017 with a $200,000 donation, then cut his first $7 million check the following month.

    Pritzker is the fifth-richest person in Illinois, according to Forbes, which estimated his net worth to be around $3.5 billion.

    His most recent contribution prior to Tuesday's was $6.3 million, donated on March 14 - bringing the total amount he's given his campaign to $76.5 million.

    Tuesday's contribution marked Pritzker's first since winning the Democratic nomination for governor on March 20, handily defeating Chris Kennedy and state Sen. Daniel Biss in the primary election.

    All three men were among those vying to unseat incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is also largely self-funding his re-election campaign.

    Rauner, a former private equity investor whose net worth has been estimated to be just under $1 billion, gave himself a $50 million contribution in Dec. 2016, breaking his own record set in 2014 for the single largest political contribution in Illinois history.

    Rauner also received a $20 million boost in May 2017 from billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who founded investment firm Citadel and according to Forbes, is listed as the wealthiest person in all of Illinois with an estimated net worth of $8.6 billion.

    With an influx of campaign cash, the race dubbed the "battle of the billionaires" may very well surpass the most expensive gubernatorial race in the nation's history - California’s roughly $280 million campaign in 2010.

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