top of page
  • snitzoid

Gov Tubby squares off against Hedge Fund guy in Gov's race? I hope Pritzker doesn't cardiac out.

I'm visualizing his new campaign ad showcasing a bright new future. The GOV on a Stairmaster in the middle of one of our high crime areas fending off meth dealers. What a visual!

Feud Between Billionaires Ken Griffin and J.B. Pritzker Likely to Shape Illinois Governor’s Race

Hedge fund founder Griffin says he will aggressively back a Republican opponent to Democratic governor

By John McCormick

Nov. 24, 2021 5:00 am ET

Two billionaires—one Democratic, one Republican—are facing off over the response to rising violence in Chicago and their broader running feud is raising the prospect of a new national spending record in a governor’s race.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose self-financing for his first campaign in 2018 helped set the current U.S. record, has found himself at odds with his state’s richest man.

Citadel hedge fund founder Kenneth Griffin, a major donor to philanthropic causes and mostly GOP candidates, has said he would financially support a Republican seeking to defeat Mr. Pritzker next year in a state where Democrats now hold all statewide elected offices.

“During the governor’s tenure, Chicago has become a poster child for the rampant violence and crime that is spreading across our country,” Mr. Griffin, who has criticized Mr. Pritzker for not deploying the National Guard more frequently, said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. “The people of Chicago deserve better than idle talk from a governor who takes no responsibility for his appalling lack of action.”

Mr. Griffin owns real estate in Chicago and New York and donated $10 million in 2018 to the University of Chicago Crime Lab to improve policing and try to reduce violent crime. He is worth about $21 billion and ranks among America’s 50 wealthiest people, according to Forbes magazine. Late last week, he won a $43.2 million first-edition copy of the U.S. Constitution at auction and will initially lend it to an Arkansas art museum that offers free admission.

Mr. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune and the brother of former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, is worth $3.6 billion, Forbes says. The 56-year-old incumbent has already contributed more than $40 million to his own re-election campaign.

“The willingness by players on both sides of the race to put fortunes into the campaigns means that it may in fact be possible for this to become the most expensive gubernatorial campaign” in U.S. history, said Pete Quist, deputy research director for the nonpartisan OpenSecrets watchdog group.

Mr. Griffin, 53, hasn’t yet named a candidate he would like to support against Mr. Pritzker.

One Republican contemplating a bid is Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump who said he won’t seek re-election to the U.S. House following a redistricting process in Illinois that put him into the same district as another lawmaker. At least four other lesser-known Illinois Republicans have announced 2022 campaigns for governor.

Mr. Griffin has mostly contributed to Republicans, but he has also donated to a few moderate Democrats. He has both praised and criticized Mr. Trump, and said that he doesn’t want to see the former president run again in 2024.

The latest spat between the two Illinois billionaires became public in October, when Mr. Griffin suggested he might move his investment firms, Chicago-based Citadel and Citadel Securities, out of Illinois because of a rising crime rate and incidents involving employees.

“It is a disgrace that our governor will not insert himself into the challenge of addressing crime in our city,” Mr. Griffin told the Economic Club of Chicago. “Chicago is like Afghanistan on a good day.”

Zia Ahmed, a Citadel spokesman, said a bullet passed through the interior of a ride-sharing vehicle that a firm employee was traveling in through downtown earlier this month, and four employees have been robbed at gunpoint this year. Several employees who live downtown are also routinely escorted to and from work because they have been harassed or fear robbery.

“If the issue of safety and security is not addressed, Chicago risks losing its place as the center of commerce in the Midwest,” Mr. Ahmed said.

Through Nov. 14, there have been 715 murders in the city, according to Chicago Police Department statistics. That is a 3% increase from 2020, but up 59% from the same period in 2019.


Do you think there is too much money in politics? Join the conversation below.

Mr. Griffin, whose firms employ about 1,100 people in Chicago, also recounted for the economic club a phone call he was on with the governor and other business leaders in August 2020 to discuss violence and looting in the city.

“I told him to deploy the National Guard and he goes, ‘It won’t look good for there to be men and women on Michigan Avenue with assault weapons,’ ” Mr. Griffin said.

After Mr. Griffin’s comments, Mr. Pritzker’s office used the word liar to describe Mr. Griffin, who stood by his remarks.

Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pritzker, said the National Guard wasn’t deployed in August 2020 following Mr. Griffin’s suggestion. “The governor does not send soldiers into a city without the request of the mayor of that city,” she said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

First off, it's to our strategic advantage to be major players in the battery market and compete head-on with China. Will Detroit's Big Three be able to play a major roll? Suspect not. They were al

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page