Bruce Rauner Sets Record For Out Of Pocket Campaign Donations In A Governor Race

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 4, 2014 5:45PM

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Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner’s “Hammer and Shake” campaign to win Illinois’ Republican gubernatorial nomination is best noted for how much of his own money he’s been shoveling into it.

Chicagoist did a search of Rauner's campaign contributions at the Illinois Board of Elections website and found Rauner has donated $6,050,000 to his gubernatorial campaign from March 28, 2013 through Monday. He’s raised $14 million total which means 43 percent of the money in Rauner’s campaign fund has come from his own pocket.

The $6 million is a record for personal money in an Illinois governor race and more than half of that has come as public sector unions and political action committees have attacked Rauner in advertising campaigns centered on his business dealings as a principal in the venture capital group GTCR. Rauner’s campaign war chest far outreaches the combined campaign funds of his opponents Kirk Dillard, Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford and has allowed him to continue his saturation in Illinois’ largest media markets. The previous record for personal money in an Illinois governor campaign was set in 2006 by businessman Ron Gidwitz and his wife, but still a far cry from the $28.4 million Blair Hull spent in his 2004 Democratic Senate primary loss to a state Senator named Barack Obama.

Polls have Rauner as the presumptive GOP nominee heading into a general election showdown with Gov. Pat Quinn in November. The question we ask at this point is how much more of his own money will Rauner pump into his own campaign and will Democrats work to ensure Quinn’s war chest can keep pace.