Missing From J.B. Pritzker's Closing Ad in Illinois Governor's Race? His Name

Missing From J.B. Pritzker's Closing Ad in Illinois Governor's Race? His Name
CHICAGO — After pouring a record-breaking $161.5 million into his own candidacy, Illinois Democrat J.B. Pritzker will close out his 18-month gubernatorial campaign with an ad that never even mentions his name. In the final spot, first obtained by POLITICO, Pritzker doesn’t ask Illinois voters to go to the polls for him specifically. Instead, the ad...

CHICAGO — After pouring a record-breaking $161.5 million into his own candidacy, Illinois Democrat J.B. Pritzker will close out his 18-month gubernatorial campaign with an ad that never even mentions his name.

In the final spot, first obtained by POLITICO, Pritzker doesn’t ask Illinois voters to go to the polls for him specifically. Instead, the ad urges “on Tuesday, vote Democratic.”

“You can send a message that it’s time for a change, in Springfield and in Washington,” the ad says, before closing with photos of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump side by side.

In a statement about the ad, Pritzker said he’s focusing on boosting Democrats up and down the ticket. Pritzker has already financed a massive statewide GOTV operation that is coordinating with Democrats across the state. While polls have consistently shown Pritzker holding a comfortable lead against Rauner, four Republican-held Illinois congressional districts remain toss-ups. The Democratic nominee for governor has also invested in the contest for attorney general, which pits Democrat Kwame Raoul against Republican Erika Harold.

The fact that Pritzker can take an unusual step of not including his name in his closing spot is a testament to the onslaught of ads that have carpeted every media platform available for 18 months. Viewers will likely recognize the narrator’s voice: it’s Pritzker himself. He also makes an appearance in the spot.

It’s the latest reminder of the largesse behind a campaign that saw the billionaire Democrat give his own campaign $161.5 million — more money than any other self-financed candidate in U.S. history. That topped the $144 million eBay executive Meg Whitman gave her own campaign in her failed 2010 bid for California governor. Rauner, a multi-millionaire himself, had set a marker by plowing $50 million into his reelection fund two years before the election with billionaire donor Ken Griffin adding another $20 million. While that may have staved off some competitors, it only brought an eminently wealthier challenger in Pritzker.

All told, fundraising in the Illinois gubernatorial contest, including self-donations, primary spending and independent expenditures, reached an eye-popping $285 million, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. It’s a staggering sum considering the Illinois governor’s mansion was long predicted to flip to a Democrat this year in what is already a blue state. An analysis by the Associated Press reported Illinois as the most expensive governor’s race in the nation — outspending Florida’s bruising gubernatorial contest — and the state has also outpaced every other in reported contributions for state-level campaigns.

Source: www.politico.com