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Pritzker blasts past $100 million mark in cash kicked into campaign

Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and his running mate, State Rep. Juliana Stratton, celebrate his win in the March primary. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Democrat J.B. Pritzker gave his gubernatorial campaign a $25 million shot in the arm last week.

And in doing so, the Gold Coast billionaire boosted his campaign budget to well over $100 million as he seeks to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Pritzker has self-funded his gubernatorial campaign largely with a series of $7 million donations since he entered the race in March 2017. But he has ratcheted up his personal largesse since winning the March primary, kicking in an additional $30 million in the final 11 days of May.

The latest contribution arrived May 31, bringing the total he’s given his campaign in cash and in-kind contributions to $106 million.

The gubernatorial race between Gov. Bruce Rauner (left) and Democratic rival J.B. Pritzker could become the most expensive race in American history. | Sun-Times photos
The gubernatorial race between Gov. Bruce Rauner (left) and Democratic rival J.B. Pritzker could become the most expensive race in American history. | Sun-Times photos

Pritzker and Rauner spent $132 million on their hard-fought primaries. Rauner spent more than $63 million and Pritzker spent $68 million between December 2016 and the end of March, records have shown.

This year’s race for governor could end up breaking the national record set by California’s 2010 race in which Democrat Jerry Brown and Silicon Valley executive Meg Whitman spent a combined $280 million.