Campaign funds for governor race expected to shatter records

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CHICAGO -- With just nine weeks before the primary, candidates for Illinois governor have been showing up at more and more forums to talk to voters.

Fundraising in the race for Illinois governor is on pace to shatter records. In the final months of last year, Democrat J.B. Pritzker raked in $21 million, leaving his campaign with $7.8 million in the bank.

Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss both raised a little over a million dollars. But Kennedy started the year with only $737,000 dollars in the bank. Biss more than $3 million dollars.

“We’re incredibly excited at the remarkable support we’ve been shown by thousands and thousands of people from every corner of Illinois,” Biss said.

On the Republican side, incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner raised $2.9 million dollars November through December, leaving him with $55 million dollars on hand. His opponent, Jeanne Ives, who entered the race late last year, has raised almost half a million dollars.

The money is paying for expensive campaign commercials as the candidates court voters ahead of the March 20 primary.

Governor Rauner’s reelection effort is looking past the primary and already taking on Pritzker.

Pritzker’s ads mention Rauner and President Donald Trump. The spots are everywhere –radio and the internet—any device with a screen.

The fourth quarter of 2017, candidates on both sides raised $26.5 million and spent $28.4 million.

According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, the spending was mostly on advertising-related costs, followed by staff salaries.

In December, Kennedy gave his campaign $250,000. That’s not the kind of Pritzker or Rauner money but three campaigns are self-financing.