CHICAGO -- Another Democrat could be jumping in to the race for governor.
J.B. Pritzker is the billionaire businessman and philanthropist known for pushing tech growth and digital startups in Chicago.
According to the bio on his site, he also led the campaign to build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. He's also the heir to Hyatt Hotels and related to other high-powered politicians in Washington.
Now, he's taking the next step in his potential run for governor, officially creating an exploratory committee. It means he filed the paperwork for the beginning stages of an official campaign.
In a statement, Pritzker said, “As I’ve traveled across Illinois, I’ve listened to people express their deep concerns about the direction of our state. It is clear that having a governor who’s unwilling to address our state’s challenges is having a real impact on people’s lives. I look forward to continuing my conversations with people across Illinois who are currently being forced to pay the price of failed leadership from Governor Rauner.”
Pritzker said last month he was seriously considering a run, shortly after Chris Kennedy officially announced his candidacy. The Democratic businessman is also the son of the late senator Robert Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy.
Another Chicagoan, Ameya Pawar, announced early this year he's officially running. He's a city alderman running on the idea of a "new deal" for Illinois.
All three men adamantly oppose current Governor Bruce Rauner and his "turnaround agenda." But on his end, Rauner tweeted:
"Pritzker announced his gov exploratory committee - #IL deserves better. Show you're with us on #teamrauner instead."
The tweet then included a link to his fundraising page. That fundraising call could be because some consider Pritzker a symbol of big money: Forbes estimates his worth at $3.2 billion.
But Rauner is hardly strapped for cash. He's contributed millions to his own re-election campaign and has been valued at up to $1 billion.
Pritzker last ran for office in 1998, losing in the primary to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. If he officially decides to run, he'll first have to win this Democratic primary over at least those two challengers.
The primary election is March 20, 2018.
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