Republican venture capitalist to run for Illinois governor

Jesse Sullivan, an Illinois native who founded Alter Global in San Francisco, released a campaign video portraying himself as an outsider who’ll fight to solve the state’s problems

A San Francisco venture capitalist with almost $11 million in campaign contributions on Thursday became the latest Republican to announce a run for the chance to unseat Gov. JB Pritzker in 2022.

Jesse Sullivan, an Illinois native who founded Alter Global in San Francisco, released a campaign video portraying himself as an outsider who’ll fight to solve the state’s problems.

“This fight it will not stop, I promise you, until this era in Illinois of high taxes, crime, corruption comes to an end,” Sullivan, of Petersburg in central Illinois, says in the video.

Most of the 37-year-old’s campaign donations are from California contributors, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Other Republicans who’ve announced campaigns for the June primary are state Sen. Darren Bailey, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf and Gary Rabine, a Bull Valley resident and McHenry County businessman.

However, any candidate faces an uphill battle against Pritzker, who’s seeking a second term and has $35 million for his campaign.

The heir to the Hyatt Hotel chain and multibillionaire private equity investor was elected in 2018 after spending almost $150 million of his own money. He ousted one-term Republican Bruce Rauner, a millionaire who spent $68 million of his personal fortune.

In a statement, Rabine criticized Sullivan for his ties to California.

“The values of Silicon Valley are not the values of the Republican Party here in the heartland,” Rabine said in the statement. “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.”

Pritzker told reporters Thursday that Republicans were “beating each other up” on the campaign trail.

“All I can say is that I’m focused on the issues that are really important to the people of Illinois,” he said at an unrelated event in Chicago.