• Four of the top five most spendy, ad-soaked races are for U.S. Senate seats.
• The exception: the gubernatorial race in Illinois, which is a big-money race because it’s basically a battle of billionaires. Incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker is a billionaire member of the Pritzker family behind the Hyatt Hotels Corp. And fellow billionaire Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of the Citadel hedge fund, has been pouring money into the race not to run himself, but to attempt to oust Pritzker. That has meant throwing support behind a Republican with momentum—Richard Irvin, the mayor of Aurora, Illinois—to the tune of roughly $50 million so far, according to Ad Age sibling publication Crain’s Chicago Business.
The Illinois primary is slated for June 28. The top spenders in the Illinois gubernatorial race so far: the Irvin campaign, the Pritzker campaign and the Democratic Governors Association (a PAC), in that order.
DGA’s spending is largely anti-Irvin, possibly benefiting another Republican candidate, Darren Bailey. Complicating matters: Bailey, a member of the Illinois State Senate, is currently outpolling Irvin—and Bailey has the backing of yet another billionaire: Richard Uihlein, who is the founder of Uline (the shipping-supplies company) and an heir to the Schlitz brewing fortune.