Governor Bruce Rauner’s campaign for re-election is expected to get a boost this week from a Super PAC formerly headed by wealthy Chicago businessman and Illinois campaign finance chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run, Ron Gidwitz.
On Tuesday, Economic Freedom Alliance is set to begin running television ads attacking Rauner’s opponent, Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker. Sources tell WGN the advertising campaign will total more than half a million dollars.
Chicago businessman Ron Gidwitz was the chairman of the Economic Freedom Alliance until the end of May, stepping down shortly after President Donald Trump nominated him to serve as U.S. ambassador to Belgium.
According to state records, Gidwitz’s brother James now serves as chairman of the group.
During the 2016 presidential race, Ron and James Gidwitz both donated to Donald Trump’s bid to win the White House. FEC records show the brothers gave a combined $60,000 to the Trump Victory Committee, and thousands more directly to Trump’s campaign.
Ron Gidwitz previously co-chaired Bruce Rauner’s 2014 campaign for Governor. Records show he also gave more than $50,000 to that effort.
Governor Bruce Rauner frequently avoids weighing in on national issues and rarely mentions President Trump by name.
But, while in Washington, D.C. last week awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on Janus vs. AFSCME, Rauner said he did meet with Vice President Mike Pence.
Both the Rauner and Pritzker campaigns began airing television ads for the November general election earlier this month.
It’s largely expected to be the most expensive statewide race in history.