In a campaign video, Illinois native Jesse Sullivan, founder of Alter Global in San Francisco, stresses his roots growing up in central Illinois and the values he learned in “the Land of Lincoln.”
With nearly $11 million in donations from West Coast supporters, San Francisco venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan officially entered the Republican race for governor on Thursday, casting himself as an “outsider” who wants to “solve problems and deliver results for our neighbors in need.”
His campaign released an announcement video Thursday morning ahead of a downstate news conference planned for this afternoon.
The video features the downstate native and founder of Alter Global in San Francisco stressing his his roots growing up in central Illinois and the values he learned in “the Land of Lincoln.”
“This fight is about insiders, who talk a good game, versus us outsiders, who actually want to solve problems and deliver results for our neighbors in need,” Sullivan says in the campaign video.
“This fight it will not stop, I promise you, until this era in Illinois of high taxes, crime, corruption comes to an end. So today amongst all of you I have an announcement. My name is Jesse Sullivan, and I’m running to be the next governor of Illinois.”
Sullivan, 37, will “focus on three core issues: strengthening the Illinois economy, leaving the state’s historic corruption in the past, and addressing the crime hurting Illinois families,” according to his campaign email.
The native of downstate Petersburg reported Wednesday raising nearly $11 million in contributions from seven out-of-state donors.
He plans to attend a campaign announcement at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
At 4:29 p.m. Wednesday, he reported taking in $10,780,000 in donations — all but $780,000 of it from just four California contributors — since last Friday.
The largest donation was $5 million from Chris Larsen, billionaire co-founder and board chairman of San Francisco-based global financial firm Ripple, according to Sullivan’s campaign filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Larsen has a net worth of $3.4 billion, according to Forbes.
Another $4 million came from Kevin Taweel, CEO of Asurion, in San Mateo, California, described on the company website as “the world’s largest provider of technology protection services.”
Sullivan is the latest — and so far, best funded — Republican to announce a challenge to Pritzker.
Candidates already running include state Sen. Darren Bailey of downstate Xenia, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of downstate Waterloo and businessman Gary Rabine of northwest suburban Bull Valley. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of downstate Taylorville and Regional Transportation Chairman Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale are also weighing entering the race.
Pritzker has already seeded his re-election campaign with $35 million. The billionaire Democrat spent $171 million of his own fortune on his 2018 bid to oust then Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, a battle that went down as one of the most expensive gubernatorial races in American history.