It was the worst kept secret in Illinois politics, but it came to fruition yesterday.
Billionaire Ken Griffin announced his $20 million donation to the Richard Irvin/Avery Bourne gubernatorial ticket yesterday.
The contribution is one of the largest donations so far to the campaign. It is only surpassed by a $90 million donation that Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker made to his own re-election campaign one month ago and a similar $35 million from Pritzker in March 2021.
In the statement released yesterday, Griffin says he wanted to support Irvin because of Griffin’s business Citadel. Griffin says Pritzker’s policies are hurting his and Illinois’ business climate overall.
Illinois State Board of Elections filings of campaign finances over the last three weeks show that Irvin is gaining major support from several CEOs from around the state including Chicago’s Duchossois Group, Pathways.org CEO Shirley Ryan, and retired Abbot Laboratories CEO Miles White.
According to the same state board of elections filings, none of Irvin’s four competitors in the Republican gubernatorial primary have received donations larger than $30,000 since the start of the year.