Illinois governor's race projected to shatter campaign finance r - KMOV.com

Illinois governor's race projected to shatter campaign finance records

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (Credit: KMOV) Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The Illinois gubernatorial election is still 13 months away, but the campaign money involved is already nearing historic amounts.

So far, candidates have raised more than $100 million, and experts are speculating the eventual totals could shatter previous records.

"I don't think we've ever seen anything like this," said former State Senator David Luechtefeld.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is a businessman and investor worth several hundred million dollars. The frontrunning Democrat is the J.B. Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt fortune and boasting a net worth of more than $3 billion.

State records show Rauner already has $71 million in the war chest and Pritzker, who started running TV ads, has more than $28 million.

Andrew Theising, political science chairman at SIUE, says it's possible the campaign could hit a record setting $300 million in spending.

"I don't know where this is going. It's scary at one level and kind of fun at another level, this is uncharted water," he said.

Since both men will largely self-fund their own campaign, there are no limits to how much they can put into the race.

"With this kind of money and obviously both of them can afford to put whatever it takes and i think they will both do that," said Luechtefeld.

For perspective, the Missouri governor's race was the most expensive governor's race last year at $50 million dollars.

That's how much Rauner donated of his own money to his campaign and he hasn't even formally announced he's running for re-election.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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