Illinois Governor’s Race Shaping Up to Be a Battle of the Billionaires

Voters head to the polls in Illinois in 10 months for the primary election and already the ad campaign on television signals that the amount of money that will be spent on the governor's race will be record-breaking.

A source tells NBC 5 that Democrat JB Pritzker is spending $1.5 million for two weeks as his introductory TV ad called “Think Big” saturates TV markets across the state. As one Democratic strategist noted, "if he keeps this pace, he will spend $50 million on TV alone."

That same source said the billionaire businessman has told others that "he's prepared to spend $70 million on the primary alone." [[419186634, C]]

Compare that to 2014, when then-GOP candidate Bruce Rauner spent what was a record-breaking $65.3 million on his entire campaign – both the primary and the general elections. When you add in then-Governor Pat Quinn's campaign funds, $100 million was spent in all.

The Pritzker money factor has incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner "desperate for a budget deal" to end the state’s nearly two yearlong impasse, according to several Springfield sources.

Rauner, himself a billionaire businessman as well, has begun running his own TV ads, although he has yet to formally announce that is he is running for re-election.

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