CHICAGO (AP) — A San Francisco venture capitalist with nearly $11 million in campaign contributions became the latest Republican Thursday to announce a run for the chance to unseat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2022.

Jesse Sullivan, an Illinois native who founded Alter Global in San Francisco, released a campaign video portraying himself as an outsider who'll fight to solve the state's problems.[1]

"This fight it will not stop, I promise you, until this era in Illinois of high taxes, crime, corruption comes to an end," Sullivan, of Petersburg in central Illinois, says in the video.

Most of the 37-year-old's nearly $11 million in campaign donations are from California contributors, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. All but $780,000 of those contributions from just four individual contributors based in California, since last Friday.[2]

Other Republicans who've announced campaigns for the June primary are State Sen. Darren Bailey,[3] former State Sen. Paul Schimpf,[4] and businessman Gary Rabine.[5]

However, any candidate faces an uphill battle against Pritzker who's seeking a second term and has $35 million for his campaign.[6]

The heir to the Hyatt Hotel chain and multi-billionaire private equity investor was elected in 2018 after spending nearly $150 million of his own money. He ousted one-term Republican Bruce Rauner, a millionaire who spent $68 million of his personal fortune.

Pritzker told reporters Thursday that Republicans were "beating each other up" on the campaign trail.

"All I can say is that I'm focused on the issues that are really important to the people of Illinois," he said at an unrelated event in Chicago.

A couple weeks ago at the Illinois State Fair, we saw the results of the first unofficial Illinois Republican Primary "Corn Poll". Sullivan was not yet in the primary race.

Potential Illinois voters were given the option to put corn in a jar representing their favorite candidate for governor, and businessman Gary Rabine was named the winner.[7]

“The results, of course, are not scientific but a win is a win,” the Rabine campaign said in a news release. “We are building momentum every day and we will continue our march to a victory not only in the primary but also against JB Pritzker. We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I am the outsider our state needs right now.”

State Sen. Darren Bailey declared the results of the unofficial Corn Poll, "FAKE NEWS at its finest."

Notes & References

  1. “Jesse Sullivan for Governor.” Jesse Sullivan for Governor. Accessed September 9, 2021. ↩︎

  2. Hinton, Rachel. “Casting Himself as an 'Outsider,' California Venture Capitalist Sullivan ENTERS GOP Race to Unseat Pritzker.” Times. Chicago Sun-Times, September 9, 2021. ↩︎

  3. Darren Bailey for Governor. Bailey for Illinois. Accessed September 9, 2021. ↩︎

  4. “Schimpf for Governor of Illinois.” Schimpf for Governor of Illinois. Accessed September 9, 2021. ↩︎

  5. Rabine for Governor, August 25, 2021. ↩︎

  6. O'connor, John. “Illinois Gov. Pritzker Announces 2022 Re-Election Bid.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, July 19, 2021. ↩︎

  7. Craig, Denise. “First Unofficial Illinois Gubernatorial Poll Has Candidates Claiming Fake News.” WANE 15. WANE 15, September 8, 2021. ↩︎