Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - Rabine responds *** Jesse Sullivan discloses almost $11 million in contributions ahead of formal campaign kickoff
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*** UPDATED x2 - Rabine responds *** Jesse Sullivan discloses almost $11 million in contributions ahead of formal campaign kickoff

Thursday, Sep 9, 2021

[This post has been bumped up from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning for visibility purposes.]

* Background is here if you need it. Whew…

Dude isn’t messing around.

* All out of state

* Media advisory…

TOMORROW: Business Leader and Illinois Native Jesse Sullivan to Make Major Announcement in Republican Race for Governor

Petersburg, IL – Jesse Sullivan, who was born and raised in Petersburg, will make a major announcement on his intentions regarding the Republican race for Illinois Governor tomorrow, from Lincoln’s New Salem. He will be joined by friends and family and will make remarks about what he sees for the future of Illinois.

    What: Major campaign announcement
    Who: Jesse Sullivan
    When: Thursday, September 9, 2021, 4:30 PM CST
    Where: Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site Visitor’s Center, 15588 History Lane, Petersburg, Illinois 62675

Session day, half an hour from the Statehouse. Not sure what sort of media turnout he’ll get.

…Adding… His top contributor last December

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges Tuesday against Ripple, the fintech company best known for cryptocurrency XRP, and two of its executives.

The SEC alleged that Ripple, co-founder Christian Larsen and CEO Bradley Garlinghouse, raised more than $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering.

Garlinghouse said the SEC’s suit was “fundamentally wrong as a matter of law and fact” and questioned its timing.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Tribune’s Rick Pearson interviews Sullivan

Sullivan, who has promoted his Roman Catholic faith along with family and service as his core values, said he believed a Republican could be successful in an increasingly Democratic state by avoiding a focus on “wedge issues” and instead concentrating on ways to improve the economy and reducing taxes, corruption and crime.

But while he said his background in technology and finance could “serve as a bridge” to suburban voters, his opposition to abortion rights could become an issue for a key regional demographic — moderate suburban women. […]

Sullivan also said he has been vaccinated for COVID-19 and encourages vaccination, in contrast to Rabine and Bailey. […]

“I am not an ideologue,” Sullivan said, before making a reference to Rauner. “I actually think it’s really not healthy to be an ideologue if you want real outcomes — especially if you’re going to run as a Republican in a Democratic-leaning state where they’re the supermajority in the legislature. I think we tried that experiment previously and it did not work.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

Gary Rabine, a candidate for Governor, is issuing the following statement on Jesse Sullivan declaring his candidacy for Illinois Governor.

“It is important for Illinois Republican voters to choose a candidate who best reflects the values of this party and the working class families of our state. Most all of Mr Sullivan’s campaign cash has come from Silicon Valley. The values of Silicon Valley are not the values of the Republican Party here in the heartland. To defeat Pritzker’s War on Families, Illinois will elect a candidate who is vested in the culture of small businesses and families in Illinois, not California. While Jesse Sullivan has been partnered with Silicon Valley elites, I have been creating jobs for working families right here in Illinois.

I have been at the forefront of recruiting and funding initiatives to support leaders in freedom and small business for a long time. I have been in the trenches since the beginning of great national organizations, such as Job Creators Network and TPUSA, supporting the fight against socialism and bad regulations that kill small businesses. Republican voters know I am the candidate best able to end the war on families in Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 8:36 pm:

    This, see, this has my curiosity. My attention? Hmm.

    Going to get my popcorn ready

    (See what I did there)

    Ok, I’ll show myself out.

  2. - Ditka's Hair - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 8:48 pm:

    $5 million from this guy? Who is in turn backed by Peter Thiel?

  3. - DTAG - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 8:49 pm:

    So Republican Blair Hull, the consultants will eat him alive.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 8:52 pm:


    I hope he knows it’s two Ls and a Y, “Willy”


    Now we wait… to see who can actually play this game on this side.

  5. - dirksen - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:04 pm:

    he probably doesn’t want a whole lot of media coverage. it’s kind of perfect, can’t accuse him of hiding but no one has resources to cover.

  6. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:09 pm:

    Asurion insures consumer electronics - notably they are the plan offered through AT&T wireless if you have them.

  7. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:11 pm:

    That’s a lot of corn in the jar.

  8. - Chambananon - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:12 pm:

    Paging Darren Bailey’s wallet…

  9. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:19 pm:

    -he probably doesn’t want a whole lot of media coverage-

    Well that would require answering questions, like about his opponents, the state of the GOP, and the humungous orange elephant in the room.

  10. - 60646 - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:27 pm:

    On the one hand, this guy seems like he was created in a lab or groomed for this opportunity (vet, Stanford, lives in hometown, foster dad, etc.). On the other hand, until recent months, his Twitter feed is 50% about how great cryptocurrency is, has no Illinois money, and his VC fund needed a PPP loan.

    My money remains on Darren Bailey, but I also don’t have $5M on him.

  11. - SpiDem - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:32 pm:

    How is he being allowed to host a political event at a state-owned and operated historic site? Unless the rules have changed, that’s not allowed.

  12. - vern - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:34 pm:

    This guy didn’t vote in the 2016 or 2018 primaries, has never voted in a municipal election, has never donated to an Illinois political candidate, and runs a company headquartered in San Francisco. His only political experience is volunteering with a Democratic campaign 13 years ago.

    What is going on here?

  13. - jimbo - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 9:40 pm:

    Can’t see what kind of chance he has. He didn’t even with the corn poll. /s

  14. - CubsFan16 - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:07 pm:

    Me thinks it’s time to start taking this guy seriously.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:13 pm:

    ===Me thinks it’s time===

    The difference between curiosity and attention…

    …curiosity is a bank balance, attention is how it’s spent.

  16. - hellow - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:28 pm:

    So, he’s backed mostly with funders from a state that has a “fair tax?” I thought they all moved to the South? This will be great for his anti-tax arguments.
    The consultants are circling.

  17. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:32 pm:

    Since the B team will probably be covering the announcements, how about asking:

    1. Vaccinated?
    2. Mandate vax/mask position.
    3. Support for TX abortion law?
    4. Biden elected?

  18. - Been There - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:36 pm:

    ===== How is he being allowed to host a political event at a state-owned and operated historic site? Unless the rules have changed, that’s not allowed.=====
    Not exactly sure what the rules are but there are ways to pay the normal fair market rate if they rent the space out. Don’t forget Obama kicked off his presidential bid on the Old State Capitol grounds.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:40 pm:

    ===1. Vaccinated?
    2. Mandate vax/mask position.
    3. Support for TX abortion law?
    4. Biden elected?===

    - Norseman -, per usual, understands the game, and that it’s $11 million… or “eleventy” million… or just corn kernels.

    Curiosity is the call for the day.

  20. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 10:49 pm:

    -What is going on here?-

    Cash and ambition. You know, the usual.

  21. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Sep 8, 21 @ 11:06 pm:

    Today would’ve been the perfect day to announce. The Joliet police investigation was the bolded story on the Sun-Times website for a lot of the day. Not much happened yesterday either.

    Also, Warren Buffet once compared cryptocurrency to people basically spending a lot of money to buy a check. I think it is pretty accurate.

  22. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 12:30 am:

    I just think it’s adorable that we have a corruptly drawn legislative map, but at least for the third Governor election in a row we’ll have an honest rich white guy who has zero experience in actual governing and building coalitions.

  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 12:33 am:


    I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 6:12 am:

    ===corruptly drawn===

    Win elections.

    Problem solved.

  25. - PublicServant - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 6:21 am:


  26. - CubsFan16 - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 7:34 am:

    Touche, OW

  27. - Sam Spade - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 8:13 am:

    This guy is going to generate tons of attention for the GOP and Illinois Governor’s race so Don Tracy has to love it.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 8:15 am:

    - CubsFan16 -

    It’s all good.

    === This guy is going to generate tons of attention for the GOP and Illinois Governor’s race so Don Tracy has to love it.===

    Really? How so?

  29. - Steve Rogers - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 8:40 am:

    More importantly, can he win a fair and honest corn poll.

  30. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 9:17 am:


  31. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 10:24 am:

    As to Mr. Sullivan, candidates always look great during the first few days, but the candidate and his campaign manager seem to be serious and principled people that have accomplished a lot of positive things.
    Thinking they should keep doing the positive work they are doing except that our state needs serious and principled people to participate in government so hoping they can make a difference.
    Also thinking the $300,000 a day fellow will start negative campaigning in 3-2-1—— so fellows hold on to your hats.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    ===Also thinking the $300,000 a day fellow will start negative campaigning in 3-2-1—— so fellows hold on to your hats.===

    No need to throw any first punch, let Sullivan paint himself in a corner or two… then…

    Probably see a “positive” ad for Bailey from the Democratic Governors Association first. Help gin up the far right for the Baileys.

  33. - Eastern blox - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    Seems sane…sadly that doesn’t seem to be a factor among downstate GOP primary voters. Especially if he is asked about mask and vaccine mandates. I’d wager the majority of General Election voters would support that. If Bailey and Rabine push it and he ends up supporting it, that could be enough to end a chance at winning the primary. If he says he doesn’t support it, the Dems would really hammer him on that in the General which I’d wager would hurt him in crucial suburban districts.

    I’d love to be wrong and see him be the GOP nominee though.

  34. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    Is there more money where the first $11M came from?

    And is there enough of it to buy the GOP primary and / or the Republican party?

    If so, we’ve seen this play before … but this version might be more moderate / centralist.

    He still will have to finesse the suburbs. Be interesting to watch …

  35. - walker - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 11:17 am:

    “”his VC fund needed a PPP loan”"

    and many of my local small businesses couldn’t get one?

  36. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    Awesome, a rich kid whose big idea was to exploit people in third world countries now wants to be governor. I’d love to see some of the “opportunities” his firm has created.

  37. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    Looking at the network on Alter’s website, money probably won’t be problem.
    Money was not a problem for Blair Hill either, but other issues sunk that campaign.
    I suspect we will learn a lot more about Mr. Sullivan within the week. It does seem that for a young man he has accomplished a lot.

  38. - walker - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    Rabine: “”Pritzker’s war on families””
    Uh okay

  39. - Pundent - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 5:30 pm:

    Poor Gary Rabine. Just when he proclaimed victory in the corn poll, Jesse Sullivan swoops in and buys up all the corn. It’s like you’re winning at Monopoly, land on Boardwalk where somebody just put up a hotel, and get wiped out.

  40. - Huh? - Thursday, Sep 9, 21 @ 5:58 pm:

    Just got spam email from this campaign. Won’t ever vote for him.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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