Illinois Governor's race on pace to shatter spending record - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois Governor's race on pace to shatter spending record

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WSIL — More than five months out from election day campaigns have already pumped more than $200 million into the Illinois governor’s race, putting it on pace to shatter the record for most expensive non-presidential election in U.S. History.

At $280 million California’s 2010 governor’s race currently holds that crown, but John Jackson… Professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute says the race between Rauner and Pritzker could nearly double it.

“It could go to a half billion dollars,” Jackson said. “$500 million, it seems to me, is not at all out of the realm of possibility.”

According to campaign finance reports, of the more than $200 million already pumped into the race, much of it coming from the candidates own pockets.

Rauner is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and Pritzker, a billionaire businessman who’s self-funding his run, has already contributed more than $106 million into his campaign, including an additional $25 million this week.

“This is just an unprecedented spending of money who have not unlimited, but almost unlimited funds to spend,” Jackson said.

And with the increased funds come increased ad buys.

Though campaigns typically wait until about September to advertise heavily for the general election, both Rauner and Pritzker placed multimillion dollar ad campaigns across the state this week, spending Jackson says won’t let up through election day.

“By September and  October most people are going to be tired of the negative ads and be wishing that November 8 would come soon,” Jackson said.

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