Chicago –Billionaire investor, J. B. Pritzker, a life-long Democrat, who formed an exploratory committee last month to look into running for Illinois Governor, is formally joining the race for Governor of Illinois to take on Republican Gov Bruce Rauner.
Pritzker, whose fortune is estimated by Forbes, to be in the neighborhood of $3.4 BILLION, is in a position to counter the immense wealth of Gov Rauner, who has already deposited millions of dollars in his campaign fund. Now with two men running for governor, who have seemingly endless cash to spend on their campaigns, the 2018 race for Illinois governor may well end up being the most costly gubernatorial race in American history.
Pritzker has a campaign website [www.JBPritker.com] and a twitter account. On Thursday, Pritker published a series of tweets about why he is running.
TWEET: People ask “Why would you run for Gov?” Here’s why: Because everything I care about is under siege by Bruce Rauner & Donald Trump
TWEET: Rauner promised a turnaround, but all we got was the runaround. Isn’t it time Illinois had a Governor who got things done?
TWEET: This is a moment of crisis in our state. It’s time to think big. And that’s why I am running to be the next Governor of Illinois.
Another major candidate for the Democrat nomination for Governor is Chris Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, who has both name recognition and presumably millions available to spend on his campaign.
And with far fewer dollars, but so far, the only major Democratic candidate who has served as an elected official, is Sen Dan Biss, who announced his campaign about two weeks ago, with a LIVE Facebook broadcast.
Biss, like Kennedy and Pritzker is from Chicago area, but he lacks the business experience that his better funded opponents have. But given businessman, turned politician, Bruce Rauner’s stuggles in government, Biss may be able to use his government experience as a major plus, over the private sector success of Kennedy and Pritzker.
There are several other minor candidates who have announced, who have not held an office of note, and who would face an immense challenge to raise enough funds to run a competitive race.
As the 2018 race for governor begins to heat up, there is a strong belief among Democrats that they can take back the governorship, in light of the state having now gone without a budget being signed into law since Bruce Rauner was sworn into office in January, 2015.
The resulting impact of there being no budget has left the state owing billions of dollars in back due bills to hospitals, nonprofit organizations, colleges and school districts across the state. As of April 5, the State Comptroller’s office note the state owes nearly $13 Billion dollars in unpaid bills, [ $ 12,907,563,805 as of April 5].
The state has also face multiple credit downgrades, with credit agencies noting the lack of political will of the state to pass a budget, or take actions to address the growing unfunded liabilities in the state’s pension funds, which are now approaching $140 billion.
Many in the State Capitol say the political divide between Republican Governor Rauner, and Democrat House Speaker Madigan, is so severe that there may be no budget passed before the November 2018 election.
In light of so much financial pain being felt across the state, Democrats think the odds of defeating Gov Rauner are high, despite the millions he has to put into a race.
Pritker ran for office once before, seeking the Democrat nomination for Congress in 1996, but loss that race to Jan Schakowsky, who was elected and remains a congresswoman.