A Chicago alderman who touted a “New Deal” for Illinois, is dropping out of the race for the governor’s mansion.
Ameya Pawar was running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in the general election, but decided to drop out and cited the cost of running in what is expected to be the costliest gubernatorial race in the nation’s history.
Pawar raised $828,000 during his time on the campaign trail.
“Without more resources, the only choices for expanding the campaign to a scope that could earn the nomination were to take on more personal debt or to cut staff,” Pawar said. “I have a young family, and we decided not to take on more personal debt right now. As to cutting staff, I simply refuse.”
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Remaining in the race are Chicago billionaire J.B. Pritzker, Chicago businessman Chris Kennedy, state Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County Regional Office of Education Superintendent Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman of Calumet City, Alex Paterakis of Vernon Hills, and Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge.
Pritzker has put in $28.2 million of his own money into his own campaign.
Pawar said he had more than 2,500 individual donors, 3,200 volunteers and 10,000 petition signatures, enough to get on the ballot.
“I’m sorry for the people who have stood with me that I don’t have the extraordinary wealth or extraordinarily wealthy connections to make up the difference,” Pawar said.
Pawar said in his email that he is now starting a Political Action Committee called “One Illinois” in order to organize young people around progressive issues and to fight divisions around race, class and geography.
“We all want to see progressive change and policies, but to achieve our goals we must take on the politics that are used to keep communities fighting one another over scraps,” Pawar said.