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IL Gov. candidate Sullivan focused on job creation, eliminating corruption

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(WSIL) --- Illinois' latest Republican candidate hoping to unseat Gov. JB Pritzker next year wants people to know one thing: he's not a politician.

"I actually want to be the anti-politician," said Petersburg native Jesse Sullivan. "[Someone who] is a common sense problem solver who's not trying to divide everybody and be a divider. It's to really be a uniter."

Sullivan says his 'anti-politician' stance gives him an edge over current lawmakers he says are not serving the people.

"Being an outsider to that system, it allows me to look at it for what it is and say this is insiders benefitting themselves," Sullivan said. "It's old school machine politics designed into our system over decades and I want to put an end to it."

A newcomer in Illinois politics, Sullivan burst onto the scene earlier this month raising nearly $11 million in a week. News 3 found nearly 99% of those funds came from four donations out of California.

Chris Larsen, chairman of the board and co-founder of tech company Ripple Inc., contributed $5 million to the campaign, the single largest donation.

Two high-profile members with the tech company Asurion also made contributions. CEO Kevin Taweel and vice-chairman Gerald Risk combined to donate $4,750,000. A philanthropist couple, Dorothy and Robert King of King Philanthropies, chipped in $1 million.

Sullivan's $10 million war chest outpaces his three other competitors combined. As of June 30, Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia), former state senator Paul Schimpf and Schaumburg businsessman Gary Rabine have a combined $894,306, or ten times less funds than Sullivan.

No matter the candidate, the winner will have an uphill battle against the Democrat billionaire governor. As of June 30, Gov. Pritzker has $32,867,806 in campaign funds.

Sullivan says his connections to high-profile donors won't interfere with his main goal: helping Illinois grow. Sullivan adds this election won't be about money but about the message.

"The race is not about left or right. It's about down versus up and right now we're down as a state," Sullivan said. "Make no mistake I'm Team Illinois and I'm going to build the jobs of the future in Illinois."

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