Illinois Governor's race on pace to be most expensive in U.S. hi - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois Governor's race on pace to be most expensive in U.S. history

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WSIL-TV - A rough start to the year is getting even rougher for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner. 

New campaign finance reports show Rauner's camp received just $600 thousand during the first three months of 2018, while spending nearly $18 million to fend off a primary challenge from Jeanne Ives. 

Over the same period of time just four years ago, Rauner took in more than $9 million.

John Jackson, professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute says this could be bad news for Rauner this November. 

"That shows widespread support, and if you give money you're certainly going to vote for that candidate, so you want money, but you want it widespread and diverse," Jackson said.

With Rauner, a megamillionare, facing off against billionaire, JB Pritzker, Jackson says the race will likely be the costliest governor's race ever, far surpassing the record of $280 million spent in California's 2010 gubernatorial race.

During the primary, campaigns combined to spend more than $150 million. 

"It's like a typical arms race, who knows where the bottom is, or where the ceiling is, but I think they're just going to shatter all records before it's over," Jackson said.

While many Illinoisans are pleased to see the barrage of campaign ads end, Jackson says that break will be short lived and they will dominate the airwaves through election day.

"I think once they start they're not going to let up and I think it'll be escalation up through the end of august and then it will be buy out the stations from September first on," he said.

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