When Illinois’ richest man Ken Griffin, Was announced Thursday That he plans to move his investment headquarters from Chicago to Miami was not only a big development for Citadel, it also came at a politically intriguing time for the billionaire hedge fund manager.
Illinois Republican voters are ready Tuesday to accept or reject some or all members of a slate of GOP candidates for statewide offices that Griffin-funded $ 50 million. That slate is headed by Aurora Mayor Richard Irwin, who wants to be the Republican nominee for governor.
Considering the time and political optics, this indicates a possible initial waiver speech. Irwin is in a hotly contested six-way race for the nomination and has faced stiff opposition from Rajya Sen. Jenner Darren Bailey.
Bailey has been helped, in part, by a number of TV commercials to fund the Democratic government. JB Pritzker and the Pritzker-backed Democratic Governors Association have labeled Bailey as “too conservative” for Illinois. This is a blow to the Conservatives behind Bailey, whom Democrats think will be easy to defeat in the fall.
In a statement Thursday, hours after Griffin’s announcement, Irwin blamed Pritzker for Citadel’s departure and “for refusing to acknowledge what everyone sees, which is that his high-tax, criminal administration is literally taking jobs and businesses out of the state.”
“Just last month, Illinois lost to Boeing, Caterpillar and now Citadel,” said Irwin, referring to recent announcements. Defense contractors and aircraft manufacturers And Caterpillar Inc. That they are moving their corporate headquarters to Virginia and Texas, respectively.
Adding a pitch to his candidacy, Irwin said, “It’s a clear pattern that shows no sign of ending unless we beat Pritzker in November, and I’m the only person in this race whose proven record of success has taken Illinois back.”
Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said Griffin’s departure was a sign of the state’s modern-day business climate.
Darkin quotes Ian Fleming’s “Goldfinger”, where the villain tells James Bond, “They have a word in Chicago. First Boeing, second Caterpillar, third Citadel, “said Durkin.
“I mean, it’s a huge statement. What we’re seeing with these corporate offices, (Pritzcar) can’t dismiss it as a few white-collar work, “he said.” It’s going to resonate across the country. It’s what Illinois is now versus what it was before. “
Griffin’s note to staff states that his Citadel will relocate to the new headquarters in the financial district of Miami after more than 30 years in Chicago. Citadel has about 1,000 employees in Chicago and will maintain an office in the city.
Boeing and Caterpillar have announced they are leaving, according to Pritzcar spokeswoman Emily Bitner. Such as Kellogg Co.Has announced that they are moving to Illinois.
“We will continue to welcome businesses – including Kellogg, which announced this week that it is moving to its largest headquarters in Illinois – and will support emerging industries that are already creating good jobs and investing billions in Illinois, such as data centers, electric vehicles and Quantum computing, “Bitner said in a statement.
The GOP primary symbolizes Pritzker’s efforts to defeat Arvin Bad relationship Between the billionaire governor of the state and Griffin. Griffin has often cited the threat of crime in Chicago as a possible reason for Citadel’s removal, blaming Pritzker and his policies but not Mayor Laurie Lightfoot, at an October 2021 event at the Chicago Economic Club.
In the November 2020 election, Griffin spent $ 53.75 million to oppose Pritzker’s signature agenda item, a proposed constitutional amendment that was rejected by voters to change the state from a flat-rate income tax to a graduate-rate levy. Pritzker spent $ 58 million to encourage his passage.
In the 2018 governor race, Griffin has given a one-term Republican governor. ুস 22.5 million in re-election efforts against Bruce Rauner Pritzker, who spent more than $ 170 million on his campaign. Griffin paid Ronner $ 13.5 million for his 2014 winning effort.
Also in 2020, Griffin pumped 4.5 million into a group that opposed the retention of Democratic Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. Kilbride became the first court judge to lose the retention vote. This time, with a pick out of Cook County Restructuring Supreme CourtGriffin paid the group more than $ 6.25 million.
Since 2002, Illinois State Board of Election records show Griffin has contributed $ 179 million to state and local candidates, primarily Republicans and organizations. But Griffin was also a financial supporter of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Deli and Rahm Emanuel.
In May, Griffin announced that he was providing a 25 million grant to launch two academies based at the University of Chicago to provide advanced police training to law enforcement leaders and violence prevention agencies.
Griffin has given nearly $ 40 million to various outside groups to influence the outcome of congressional races across the country in the midterm elections. This has made him one of the country’s top private donors involved in rebuilding this congressional cycle.
Griffin is the Florida Government’s top private donor. Ron Descentis, gave him 5 5 million.
If he decides to dedicate his wealth to Florida, Griffin’s departure could mean the future of raising more funds for Illinois Republicans who relied on his wealth to help in part because of Pritzker’s extraordinary spending on Democrats.
While Republicans have jumped on the bandwagon of Democratic leadership in Illinois and Chicago, at least one top Chicago Democrat has not shed much tears over the departure of Citadel.
Chicago U.S. Republican Jesus “Chui” Garcia said news of Citadel’s move “doesn’t come as a big shock” since Griffin had previously fired from Illinois.
“I suppose he, as a Republican, as an old conservative, is welcome in a state where Desantis is governor,” said Garcia, a progressive Democrat, before appearing before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Is organizing its annual. Meeting in Chicago. “I wish his staff well.”
But Garcia said he would not be surprised if Griffin continued to “interfere” in Illinois politics from his new locale.
“Billionaires can still influence elections, no matter where they are,” he said.