Governor’s race price tag: $150 million — and it’s only half over
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The two men vying to be Illinois’ next governor have already spent more than $132 million.
And that’s just for the primary.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner dished out more than $63 million, and Democratic J.B. Pritzker spent $68 million, from Dec. 2016 until the end of March, according to expenditures filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
That’s $176 per vote for Rauner, and $119 for Pritzker.
Add in the money shelled out by Rauner’s and Pritzker’s primary rivals, and the spending tops $150 million.
It’s more proof that the Illinois governor’s race is already living up to expectations that it will break a record $280 million spent in California’s 2010 gubernatorial race — and candidates have already raised more than those candidates did during that cycle.
Rauner spent $63,809,833.98 from December 2016 until the end of March, according campaign finance reports.
Rauner took in $608,972.11 in contributions during the first three months of the year, according to the quarterly report filed Monday for contributions received from January 1 through March 31.
He spent $17,706,536.53, which also included more than $360,000 in transfers to other Republican campaign committees. The majority of Rauner’s expenditures went towards TV ad buys. He spent $11,507,820 on media buys with Target Enterprises LLC, a California company. He also spent an additional $305,000 to pay for an ad for Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.
Pritzker reported more than $34 million in contributions, with all coming from his own deep pockets. He spent $34,045,895.32 in the final months of the campaign, and still has $8.1 million on hand. Pritzker has offered no signs he’ll set a limit on his self-contributions.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who gave Rauner a run for his money in the primary, spent about $12.58 per vote. She garnered 341,836 statewide votes, while spending about $4.3 million since first announcing her run.
Ives received $3.926 million in contributions, with $2.5 million from Richard Uihlein and $20,000 from conservative radio host Dan Proft. Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman also contributed $5,000 to Ives’ campaign.
The bulk of Ives’ campaign money — $2.74 million — was spent on advertising. She also spent $385,680 on a pamphlet called “The Governor You Don’t Know: The Other Side of Bruce Rauner,” which was published and sent out to voters’ homes.
On the Democratic side of the race, state Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, reported $2.825 million in contributions. He spent $5.854 million in the waning days of the election, namely on big media buys that had his face emblazoned on TV screens. His total campaign spending was $7,452,241.
At the end of the period, he had just $94,558.64.
Chris Kennedy, who came in third place in the Democratic primary, reported $3,234,165.22 in contributions, and spent $3.896 million this year, bringing his campaign total to $6,900,087.27 . He had $74,563.72 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period, filing show.
In the Illinois Attorney General’s race, Republican Erika Harold reported $332,999.44 in contributions and $259,182.58 in expenditures. Harold has $91,557.23 on hand. Rauner donated $305,000 to her primary campaign and is expected to provide financial backing ahead of the November election.
Her Democratic opponent, state Sen Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, had not yet filed his quarterly report as of 9:45 p.m.
In the lead up to the February 2019 mayoral race, Mayor Rahm Emanuel reported $283,750 in contributions, including transfers, for the latest filing period. He spent $160,295.52 and has more than $2.2 million on hand.
Paul Vallas formed his mayoral committee on April 2, and wasn’t yet required to file a report. And former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy reported $91,445.85 on hand.
Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who told reporters Monday that he is seeking to extend his half-century City Council tenure, is sitting on nearly $10 million in campaign funds. The powerful Council Finance Committee chairman reported $2,918,724.93 cash on hand in the two campaign funds he controls and another $6,923,044.69 tied up in investments.