Is Spending on Statewide Elections Going Too Far?

With more than a year to go before the next election, the three richest candidates for governor—incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner and Democrats J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy—have raised a combined total of more than $102 million for their campaigns.

Much of that funding has come from their own very deep pockets.

It’s possible that this gubernatorial race may surpass the record $280 million spent by eBay executive Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown in the California governor’s race in 2010.

So have we reached a point where only millionaires and billionaires need apply when running for statewide office?

Joining us to help answer that question are: Sarah Brune, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform; Scott Kennedy, creator of the Illinois Election Data website who previously worked on a number of statewide races for Democratic candidates; and our own Amanda Vinicky, who spent a decade in Springfield covering state politics. 


Related stories:

Gov. Bruce Rauner Earned $91 Million in 2016, Tax Returns Show

Oct. 17: The 1040 tax return forms Gov. Bruce Rauner released Tuesday show his effective tax rate was 26.6 percent, and that he, his wife, and their foundation gave $6.6 million to charity.


How Ameya Pawar Plans to Stay Involved in State Politics

Oct. 16: Chicago’s 47th Ward alderman has ended his bid for Illinois governor after failing to raise enough money. “I’m a regular person,” he said. “If people like me get essentially priced out of the Democratic process, I believe we’re headed to a really scary place.”


What Does It Cost to Run for Governor in Illinois?

July 18: Although the primary isn’t until March 2018, fundraising puts the governor’s race on pace to be one of the most expensive such races in the country’s history. It may even break that record.