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Republican venture capitalist to run for Illinois governor

September 9, 2021 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — A San Francisco venture capitalist with nearly $11 million in campaign contributions became the latest Republican Thursday to announce a run for the chance to unseat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in 2022.

Jesse Sullivan, an Illinois native who founded Alter Global in San Francisco, released a campaign video portraying himself as an outsider who’ll fight to solve the state’s problems.

“This fight it will not stop, I promise you, until this era in Illinois of high taxes, crime, corruption comes to an end,” Sullivan, of Petersburg in central Illinois, says in the video.

Most of the 37-year-old’s campaign donations are from California contributors, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Other Republicans who’ve announced campaigns for the June primary are state Sen. Darren Bailey, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf and businessman Gary Rabine.

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However, any candidate faces an uphill battle against Pritzker who’s seeking a second term and has $35 million for his campaign.

The heir to the Hyatt Hotel chain and multi-billionaire private equity investor was elected in 2018 after spending nearly $150 million of his own money. He ousted one-term Republican Bruce Rauner, a millionaire who spent $68 million of his personal fortune.

Pritzker told reporters Thursday that Republicans were “beating each other up” on the campaign trail.

“All I can say is that I’m focused on the issues that are really important to the people of Illinois,” he said at an unrelated event in Chicago.