Rauner, Pritzker digging deep — $350,000-plus every day — as primaries loom

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(Left to right) Chris Kennedy, Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker, candidates for the 2018 Illinois gubernatorial election. | Sun-Times file photos

J.B. Pritzker is in for $156,355.64 a day.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is in for $195,369.25 a day.

That’s the eye-popping average amounts of cash the two richest candidates are raising every day for their campaigns for governor — Pritzker all from his own deep pockets, Rauner from his own fortune and the largesse of his wealthy friends.

Pritzker, who entered the Democratic race in April, contributed $42,216,022.42 to his campaign through the end of the year.

Rauner officially launched his re-election bid last October, but he gave his campaign a jumpstart in December of 2016 with a $50 million check.

That brought his total through the end of last year to $73,654,206.87.

Gubernatorial candidates were required to file their third quarterly filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections by the end of day Tuesday for contributions received from October 1 through the end of last year.

Rauner reported $2.916 million in contributions during that period. He spent more than $12.8 million but still has a whopping $55.6 million ahead of the March primary. Rauner’s largest contribution during this filing period was $2.5 million from Ken Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel, in December. His biggest expenditure was $6.525 million to California-based Target Enterprises for campaign ads.

State. Rep Jeanne Ives, who is challenging Rauner in the Republican primary, reported $433,660 in contributions since mid-October, with $38,922 in expenditures. She has $662,463 cash on hand. Ives’ largest contribution came from Vincent Kolber, CEO of Residual Based Finance Corporation, known as RESIDCO.

Kolber contributed $100,000 in November. Kolber contributed $1,000 to Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign in June, prior to Ives jumping into the race. He also contributed to Rauner’s first gubernatorial campaign.

Pritzker remained the Democrats’ top fundraiser, with all of it coming from his own pockets. In the final three months of the year alone, Pritzker gave himself $21 million in three $7 million installments. He spent $13.32 million and has $7.858 million on hand for the final stretch before the March 20 primary.

Pritzker has been running television ads since last spring, and he continues to dole out big money for airtime. Pritzker spent more than $5.2 million for media buys to Philadelphia firm Shorr, Johnson, Magnus Strategic Media and $2.1 million to GMMB, a Washington D.C. based advertising and political consulting firm.

Democratic candidate for governor, Daniel Biss, participates in a debate at PUSH/Rainbow Coalition convention on Friday, June 14, 2017. | Santiago Covarrubias/For the Sun-Times

Democratic candidate for governor, Daniel Biss, participates in a debate at PUSH/Rainbow Coalition convention last year. File Photo. | Santiago Covarrubias/For the Sun-Times

State Sen. Daniel Biss remains second in line for top contributions in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Biss’ latest report shows he received about $1.06 million in contributions. He spent more than $639,000 and has $3.12 million heading into the final 63 days of the primary race.

Businessman Chris Kennedy reported about $1.01 million, with another $25,000 in in-kind contributions. He spent $1.59 million, and has $737,000 on hand. Contributions included $10,000 from his cousin, Connecticut state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. and $250,000 from Chris Kennedy himself.

Former Madison County Schools Supt. Bob Daiber raised about $27,000 during the quarter and had $11,329 on hand after expenditures and debts and obligations. And former Ceasefire head Tio Hardiman raised $1,527 and has $530 on hand. Robert Marshall, a Burr Ridge doctor, loaned $29,000 to himself and reported $11,000 in expenditures. He had about $17,000 cash on hand at the end of the year.

In the heated primary for attorney general, Democrats tried to raise money quick after incumbent Lisa Madigan’s surprise decision not to seek re-election. State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, reported $781,825, spent about $109,000 and has $1.079 million on hand. He received $5,000 from Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, and smaller contributions from other fellow Democratic lawmakers. And he took in $10,000 each from Top Tobacco, Top Tubes and Republic Tobacco, all contributions that have been criticized by some of his opponents.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn received about $79,000 in contributions for his bid for attorney general, including a $55,400 transfer from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters PAC. He spent $32,496.08 and has $278,714.04 on hand.

Former Civilian Office of Police Accountability chief Sharon Fairley received more than $195,000 in contributions, and reported a $300,000 loan from herself. She has $387,840 on hand. Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti took in $345,000 in contributions and spent about $146,000. He has a bit more than $198,000.

State Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, took in $506,000 in contributions and spent about $72,100. He has $731,187.94 on hand.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering took in more than $452,000 in contributions and $178,000 in loans. She spent $59,000 and had $574,383 on hand.

Chicago Park Board President Jesse Ruiz took in about $449,000 in contributions and loaned himself $100,000. He spent $194,000 and had $355,147 on hand.

Attorney Aaron Goldstein reported nearly $18,000 in contributions and loaned himself $185,000. He spent nearly $30,000 and has $206,959 on hand.

Republican candidate for attorney general Erika Harold reported $134,905 in contributions, about $65,000 in expenditures and has $162,000 cash on hand. Gary Grasso, who’s also vying for the Republican primary, reported nearly $141,000 in contributions, $116,000 in expenditures and has nearly $25,000 on-hand.

Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel reported $453,150 in contributions, including $123,200 in transfers. He has $2.085 million on hand, even thought the mayoral race is not until February 2019. Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, who has set up an exploratory committee, reported $49,184 in contributions but spent $47,711.24. He has just over $1,500 on hand.

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