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The 2018 race for Illinois governor could be the most expensive in U.S. history. With nine months until election day, the five leading candidates have raised more than $136 million, already exceeding any other contest before in Illinois. Democrat J.B. Pritzker has spent over $34 million of his $49 million campaign chest in an attempt to win the Democratic nomination. And a once sleepy Republican race has seen shifting alliances in recent weeks, after billionaire Dick Uihlein gave $2.5 million to Gov. Bruce Rauner's challenger, Illinois House Rep. Jeanne Ives, who opposes abortion and rights for gay and transgender people.To track this money circus, ProPublica Illinois has created a graphic that will update with the latest fundraising information.

Pawar Drops Out Of Democratic Gubernatorial Race

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar withdrew from the crowded Democratic race for Illinois governor today and announced he is launching a new political action committee.

In an email blast from his campaign office, Pawar noted that his campaign had raised $828,000 from 2,526 donors, but he said he would have to take on more personal debt or cut campaign staff to expand the campaign “to a scope that could earn the nomination.” He decided against either option.

“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,” he wrote. “I’m the one who came up short, but I am not ashamed. 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 he will not endorse any of the other remaining Democratic candidates, adding, “They are good people, and any one of them will make a fine governor.”

He announced the beginning of One Illinois, a political action committee to organize young people around progressive issues and fight “false and bigoted divides around race, class, and geography.”

Pawar thanked his running mate, Cairo Mayor Tyrone Coleman, his campaign staff, and his family.

“I will keep organizing around the principle that we are stronger together,” Pawar wrote, “and that we must defeat the politics of divide-and-rule.”

Remaining candidates for the Democratic nomination to oppose incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner are J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, State Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County Regional School Supt. Bob Daiber, businessman Alex Paterakis, and perennial candidates Tio Hardimann and Robert Marshall.