Aurora, Illinois Mayor Richard Irvin’s GOP primary campaign to be his state’s governor just got a major boost.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, billionaire Ken Griffin has reportedly made a $20 million donation to Irvin’s campaign on Monday (February 14), making his support official.
Griffin has previously noted that he will spend millions to defeat Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is also a billionaire. For Irvin, who is Black, to do so he’ll first have to win the Republican primary for governor. Currently, he faces four other GOP primary candidates.
Irvin will also have to get backing from Trump supporters in the GOP while remaining centrist enough to compete in the November election against Pritzker if he is the nominee.
In mid-January, Pritzker donated $90 million to his own campaign fund, with some of the money going to other Democratic organizations in Illinois.
Crime will be a major issue as Chicago specifically is dealing with chronic gun violence. It’s the subject of a campaign ad Irvin released on Friday. In a statement, Griffin blamed Pritzker for the violence, which has been an issue in the city for decades.
“We must end the senseless violence that has engulfed our state and put countless mothers through the pain and agony of losing a child to a random shooting,” he said in the statement, adding that Pritzker “puts politics first and refuses to address the crime that is tearing apart our state, cities and families.
“I firmly believe Richard Irvin has the character and leadership needed to again make Illinois a place where people can feel safe to live, raise a family and pursue their dreams,” he said.