It’s the latest reminder of the breakneck spending pace in the 2018 governor’s contest, an election that could cost more than a quarter-billion dollars when all the primary and general election spending is counted.
“We raised $828k from 2,526 donors; that is amazing. But as you know, the race for Illinois governor will set a record as the costliest race in American history,” Pawar said in a statement ending his campaign Thursday. “For democracy’s sake, I hope we see this as a troubling trend.”
Sarah Brune, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said the most troubling aspect of the surge of self-funded, big money campaigns for marquee offices is that the spending tends to impact lower-level offices including mayoral contests and state legislative races. Those who aren't personally wealthy or lack a mega-donor feel they can't compete at any level.
“It’s not just that running for governor is inaccessible, the bigger problem is the trickle down effect —- people feel they can’t run for local offices,” Brune said.
In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, billionaire J.B. Pritzker has so far dominated party and union endorsements and has for months flooded the airwaves with ads.
Part of his appeal to Democrats is his personal fortune — Pritzker’s a candidate who can go toe-to-toe with incumbent GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner. Rauner, a multi-millionaire with some $70 million sitting in his campaign account, has the support of Ken Griffin, one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.
That's honestly disgusting. Candidates whose quality is determined by how big their checkbook is, not how good their skills or ideas are. This is how democracy dies.
This is such a shame. I hate that money causes candidates to drop out of races before anyone is even paying attention. They should at least be able to fail on their merits.
Dang, I really liked Pawar. He was focused on universal childcare and funding public schools.
I had no idea who this man was and I live right next door in Missouri where I see a ton of Illinois Governor ads.
The machine has already chosen Pritzker, and Pritzker they will get. I hate how the race is determined so early here.
That's not surprising. He's a Chicago alderman, so that's where his base is, and I haven't even seen a commercial here. I'd be surprised if anyone outside of IL has heard of anyone besides Pritzker or Rauner. Maybe Kennedy, but only because, you know...the name and all. That's what happens when you have self-funded billionaires splashing the pot.
Edit: I should note that the other campaigns do seem to be running a lot of digital, but I suspect that's directed at a pretty targeted audience.