Pritzker's political war chest dwarfs Illinois Republicans vying to challenge him

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A third candidate has jumped into the race for the Illinois Republican gubernatorial nomination, but Illinois’ billionaire Democratic governor’s political war chest far surpasses what Republicans have on hand.

Illinois businessman Gary Rabine announced his bid Tuesday. He focused on reversing population decline by creating jobs, lowering property taxes and “serving families.”

“J.B. Pritzker is a California trust fund billionaire who came here and bought our governorship. It’s time to turn things around,” Rabine said. “Together we’re going to beat J.B. Pritzker.”

Rabine says he’s created more than 30 businesses in Illinois and has a goal to create 50,000 jobs as governor.

“We can blame everyone else for our problems, we can leave like so many others, but together we can begin our journey,” he said. “We can begin our journey in paving our way to stay.”

Rabine joins a field with former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, and state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia.

Rabine echoed criticism the other candidates offered of Pritzker.

“I will never shut down our economy and ruin thousands of businesses as J.B. Pritzker has,” Rabine said.

Pritzker has yet to announce he’ll run for a second term, but in March, the billionaire gave his campaign $35 million. According to campaign donation tracker IllinoisSunshine.org, Pritzker’s last donation not from his own wealth was in May of 2020.

The Republicans who’ve announced thus far have less campaign cash.

Through the end of the first quarter of this year, Bailey had half a million on hand, $325,000 of which has been donated in the first three months of this year.

Schimpf brought in $130,000 more in the first quarter of this year for a total of $190,000 on hand.

Rabin has given himself $110,000.

“I pledge to you today that if I’m not the candidate, I will work hard to support our nominee,” Rabine said. “I hope every Republican candidate will join me in this pledge.”

Bailey and Schimpf didn’t immediately respond.

The primary is March 2022. The General Election is November 2022.

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