One day after Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin's entry into the GOP primary race for Illinois governor, his team has released a list of 60 endorsements from key Republican leaders across the state.
While there was criticism from other GOP candidates running for governor that Irvin had previously voted in Democratic primaries, the large block of endorsements was designed to send a signal that Irvin is more that welcomed by the established Republican party in the state.
The list of endorsements, published on Irvin's campaign website, was highlighted by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and former State Sen. Jim Oberweis. Former Rep. John Shimkus, DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin and former U.S. Ambassador Ron Gidwitz also threw their support behind Irvin's campaign, as did a total of eight GOP county chairmen from around the state.
As Irvin launched his campaign with running mate Avery Bourne, he also received glowing praise from Ken Griffin, the businessman who is the state's largest donor to the Republican party.
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Griffin, according to published reports, may donate up to $150 million for the race to unseat current Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has already poured tens of millions into his own campaign for re-election.