CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) announced Thursday he is ending his bid for governor, saying he doesn’t have the money to continue his campaign.
“We simply don’t have the money to meaningfully scale this campaign statewide. 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. I have a young family, and we decided not to take on more personal debt right now. As to cutting staff, I simply refuse,” Pawar said in a letter to supporters and media outlets.
Pawar said his campaign had raised $828,000 from more than 2,500 donors.
“That is amazing. But as you know, the race for Illinois governor will set a record as the costliest race in American history. For democracy’s sake, I hope we see this as a troubling trend. My donors did the best they could, I’m the one who came up short, but I am not ashamed. Just know that while we didn’t have the most money, we have the volunteers (3,200), the signatures (10,000), and the right message. 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,” he said.
With Pawar’s withdrawal from the race, there are now seven Democratic candidates running to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018: Chicago businessman Chris Kennedy, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, Illinois State Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County school superintendent Bob Daiber, activist Tio Hardiman, Vernon Hills business owner Alex Paterakis, and Burr Ridge doctor Robert Marshall.
Kennedy praised Pawar’s contribution to the governor’s race.
“He’s raised a whole series of questions about Governor Rauner’s leadership, and not just Governor Rauner; but the notion that political leadership has been using wedge issues to divide communities among different economic classes, by race, by religion, by geography,” he said. “No one has spoken more forcefully about the need to bind the community together as the alderman has, so we will miss his voice in this race.”