By Brennan Sullivan
The upcoming election for Illinois’ Governor in Nov. of 2018 is proving to be one of the most significant gubernatorial races in U.S. history. Citizens of Illinois have endured a brutal budget war, where they went two years without a state budget. The setback presumably hurt both the state’s economy and the trust citizens held in their chosen representatives.
Current Governor Bruce Rauner took majority of the blow for this debacle, and in turn his approval ratings sit at a 36 percent. As it looks like it will be a battle for Gov. Rauner to secure re-election, democrats across the state have jumped to their feet to seize the typically blue state.
The most expensive gubernatorial race was in 2010 where the candidates in California spent nearly $280 million. Sarah Brune, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said in June of this year that he election was “hurtling down the track towards that destination.”
J.B. Pritzker is currently leading the race as he has self-funded around 30 million dollars for his campaign as of early August. Pritzker, who joined the race in April of 2017, is a highly successful investor and entrepreneur with a net worth of about 3.4 billion dollars; substantially financing his own campaign wasn’t as much of an issue as it typically is for citizens seeking office.
Other candidates in the governor’s race include Illinois State Senator for the 9 District Daniel Biss and his running mate Litesa Wallace; Ameya Pawar, the alderman for the 47 ward, and his running mate Tyrone Coleman; as well as Chris Kennedy, son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, and his running mate Ra Joy.
Pre-law student Breanna Gordan said she believes that the amount of money spent on campaigns today was “excessive.”
“All the money being put into them makes it more about creating some big show and not what they actually believe in,” Gordan said.
Jason Curry, an English major, felt that there needed to be legal action taken that restricts the amount of money financing elections. He also touched on the influence that corporations can have due to the little constraints we put on political donations.
“Corporations should not play a role in elections. We’re a country ran by the people, not by the corporations,” Curry said. “It takes away from the ability of common folk to run for office at any level.”
While the candidates in Illinois’ gubernatorial race continue to contribute to the record-breaking expenditure on campaigns, they still have over a year’s time to compete until the election takes place on Nov. 6.