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Pritzker spends more on campaign’s final quarter than Bailey did in all of 2022 


Thursday, January 19, 2023  |  Article  |  Ben Szalinski

many observed throughout the year: the governor’s race was a blowout for Gov. JB Pritzker at the ballot box and at the bank. 


Quarterly campaign finance reports submitted late Tuesday for October 2022 through December 2022 by Pritzker and former Sen. Darren Bailey’s (R-Xenia) campaign show the stark differences between each campaign’s spending abilities in the weeks leading up to Election Day on Nov. 8. 


Pritzker cruised to a comfortable 12-point victory on election night alongside Democrats for other offices around the state. 


“Until the Republican Party is ready to expel the extremists in their midst, we need to do it for them — at the ballot box,” Pritzker said as he declared victory.  


Supported by his billion-dollar personal wealth, Pritzker dismantled the Bailey campaign throughout 2022 by outspending Bailey each quarter as Bailey struggled to raise money. 


Pritzker’s campaign spent $37.7 million in the final months of 2022 with his largest expenditures on consulting, voter outreach and media production and advertising.   


The final quarter spending by Pritzker exceeded all of Bailey’s $16.1 million of spending during 2022. Pritzker spent $120.4 million in 2022 and closed the year with $4.6 million as some speculate Pritzker is interested in running for president next year, though Pritzker denies the rumor.  


Bailey spent $4.3 million in the final quarter of the year after raising $3.6 million, including a $2 million contribution from Lake Forest billionaire Dick Uihlein. More than half of Bailey’s spending went to TV advertising, which he put up for the first time of the general election campaign just weeks before Election Day.  


Other large amounts were spent on door knocking services and media production. The Trump Hotel in Chicago also appeared to be a popular place for Bailey’s campaign to house employees, eat and host events as the campaign spent $16,328 at Trump Hotel in October and November.  


Bailey’s campaign put nearly every dollar it raised to use, closing 2022 with just $16,000 in his campaign’s account as speculation rises Bailey is interested in running for Congress in 2024. The campaign still holds $246,685 of debt to be repaid to Bailey’s family.  


Bailey’s campaign received some indirect help from Chicago radio host and Florida resident Dan Proft’s People Who Play by the Rules independent expenditure committee. The committee and campaign cannot legally coordinate, but the committee was responsible for the bulk of conservative TV advertising in the run up to Election Day.  


Proft’s committee was funded with $13.9 million it received from Uihlein in early October as the billionaire put more money into Proft’s campaign attacking the SAFE-T Act than into Bailey’s race for governor.  


Despite a $13.9 million budget, Proft’s campaign spent $18.6 million in the final quarter of the year. Though it did not report any debts, the campaign reported an account deficit of $1.2 million. Illinois State Board of Elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich told The Daily Line campaigns cannot report deficits and the board’s staff will reach out to any committee reporting a deficit to correct the error. He said committees often fail to record expenses as debt and the committee will have to file an amended report correcting the error and explaining the changes.