Candidate J.B. Pritzker is spending about $171,000 per day from his $3.6 billion fortune to try to win the governor’s job, which pays $177,412 a year. Pritzker ran his first TV ads May 3 and they have run regularly ever since. He also is running ads criticizing opponent State Sen. Daniel Biss, including setting up an anti-Biss website. Pritzker’s commercials have run about 34,000 times so far, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks political advertising. Biss, his nearest rival in polls and ad spending, has run commercials about 3,200 times.
Pritzker is not the only wealthy candidate. Chris Kennedy, son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy,is a multimillionaire and Governor Bruce Rauner is worth “hundreds of millions.” If Pritzker wins the primary, Bloomberg estimates the general election could be the most expensive governor’s race in history (Bloomberg/BusinessWeek).