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Political response and impact of Kengrifin’s Citadel Move

Ken Griffin, the wealthiest man in Illinois Announced on Thursday His plans to relocate the investment company’s headquarters from Chicago to Miami were not only a major step forward for Citadel, but also a politically interesting time for Billionaire’s hedge fund managers.

Republican voters in Illinois are ready to accept or reject some or all members of the Griffin-funded state-wide office GOP candidate slate on Tuesday. $ 50 million.. The slate is headed by Mayor of Aurora, Richard Irvin, who is vying to become a Republican governor candidate.

Given the timing and political optics, it potentially points to an early concession speech. Irvine participates in a fiercely contested 6-way race over his nomination and faces strong opposition from Senator Darren Bailey of Zenia.

Bailey has been partially helped by a number of television ads paid by Democratic Governor JB Pritzkar and the Pritzker-backed Democratic Governor’s Association, which labels Bailey “too conservative” for Illinois. .. Supporting Bailey, who the Democrats think is vulnerable to defeat in the fall, is an inside-out push for conservatives.

In a statement Thursday, just hours after Griffin’s announcement, Irvine accused Pritzker of leaving Citadel and “refusing to admit what everyone was seeing.

“Last month alone, Illinois lost Boeing, Caterpillar, and now Citadel,” Irvin said. Defense industry contractors and aircraft manufacturers When Caterpillar Inc. Relocate headquarters to Virginia and Texas, respectively.

Irvine added a pitch to his candidacy, saying, “It’s a clear pattern with no signs of an end unless you beat the Pritzker in November, and I’ve had a successful track record of regaining Illinois in this race. Only. “

Jim Durkin of Western Springs, Illinois Republican leader, said Griffin’s resignation was a sign of the state’s modern business environment.

Darkin quoted Ian Fleming’s “Gold Finger” that the villain told James Bond. Once by chance. Twice by chance. The third time is the action of the enemy. First is Boeing. Second, it’s a caterpillar. Third, it’s a citadel, “Darkin said.

“That’s a big statement. What we see in the offices of these companies is that we can’t dismiss it as a couple of (Pritzker) white-collar jobs,” he said. “This will resonate all over the country. This is the difference between what is now Illinois and what was formerly Illinois.”

According to a note to Griffin employees, his citadel will move to a new headquarters in Miami’s financial district after spending more than 30 years in Chicago. Citadel has approximately 1,000 employees in Chicago and has an office in Chicago.

Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bitner said another big company, while Boeing and Caterpillar announced they were leaving. Kellogg’s etc.They announced that they would move to Illinois.

“We continue to welcome these businesses, including Kellogg’s, which announced this week that it will relocate its largest headquarters to Illinois, creating already excellent jobs in data centers, electric vehicles, Quantum, etc., and spending billions of dollars in Illinois. We support emerging industries in which we are investing. Computing, “Bitner said in a statement.

Pritzker’s efforts to defeat Irvin in the Republican primary Bitter relationship Between the Governor of the State Millionaire and Griffin. Griffin moved Citadel, including the October 2021 event at Chicago’s Economic Club, to blame Pritzker and his policies, but as a potential reason to blame Mayor Lori Lightfoot for crimes in Chicago. He frequently raised his fears.

In the November 2020 election, Griffin spent $ 53.75 million against Pritzker’s signature agenda. This is a constitutional amendment rejected by voters to change the state from fixed income tax to gradual taxation. Pritzker spent $ 58 million to facilitate its passage.

In the 2018 Governor’s election, Griffin gave Governor Bruce Launer of the First Republican $ 22.5 million to defeat Pritzker, who spent more than $ 170 million on the campaign. Griffin donated $ 13.5 million to Launer for his 2014 victory efforts.

Also in 2020, Griffin invested $ 4.5 million in a group opposed to the retention of Judge Thomas Kilbride of the democratic Illinois Supreme Court. Killbride became the first court judge to lose a retention vote.This time, in an election outside Cook County Subdivided Supreme CourtGriffin gave the group over $ 6.25 million.

Since 2002, the Illinois Election Commission records that Griffin has donated $ 179 million to state and local candidates, primarily Republicans, and organizations. However, Griffin was also a financial supporter of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel.

In May, Griffin announced that he would launch two academies based at the University of Chicago and donate $ 25 million to provide advanced police training to law enforcement leaders and anti-violence organizations.

Griffin also donated approximately $ 40 million to various external groups seeking to influence the outcome of parliamentary elections across the country in midterm elections. As a result, he became one of the top individual donors in the country involved in the reorganization of Parliament in this cycle.

Griffin is also the top individual donor to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, giving him $ 5 million.

If he decides to devote his resources to Florida, Griffin’s resignation will be even more depleted for Illinois Republicans who have relied on his wealth to partially compensate for Pritzker’s extravagant spending on Democrats. May mean the future of funding.

Republicans jumped at the news of bombing Democratic leaders in Illinois and Chicago, but at least one major Chicago Democrat did not shed much tears about Citadel’s resignation.

US Congressman Jess “Chui” Garcia of Chicago said the news of Citadel’s move was “not a big shock” because Griffin had previously moved from Illinois.

“I think he’s more welcomed as a Republican and arch conservative in the state where DeSantis is governor,” said progressive Democrat Garcia at the annual meeting in Chicago. “I wish him the best of luck.”

But Garcia said he wouldn’t be surprised if Griffin continued to “interfere” with Illinois politics from the new location.

“Millionaires can influence elections wherever they are,” he said.

rap30@aol.com

dpetrella@chicagotribune.com

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Political response and impact of Kengrifin’s Citadel Move

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