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GOP Megadonors Take Opposing Sides, Escalating IL GOP Infighting

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Far-right megadonor Richard Uihlein donated $1 million to Darren Bailey’s GOP primary campaign yesterday, just days after Ken Griffin confirmed he’d bankroll Richard Irvin at the top of his Rauner Reboot ticket.

Uihlein’s involvement fulfills the Chicago Tribune’s warning that Griffin’s backing of Irvin was “opening the door to further divisions within the state GOP.” 

With the two megadonors taking opposite sides, Bailey and Irvin are set on a collision course that’s sure to escalate the already nasty GOP primary infighting. “Backing Bailey will put them at odds with Illinois’ richest billionaire, Ken Griffin,” wrote FOX 32.

Bailey has already slammed Irvin for not knowing his Republican talking points well enough, alluding to his flip-flopping on issues like abortion and supporting Gov. JB Pritzker.

Uihlein and Griffin both gave millions to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner as he decimated social services and tanked Illinois’ finances — and now they’re each hoping their chosen candidate will help drag Illinois backward.

The Uihleins’ non-profit has spent millions funding Big Lie candidates and bankrolling “right-wing extremist organizations, including ones designated as hate groups.”

It’s no surprise that Uihlein is now backing Bailey, who won’t answer whether he thinks the 2020 election results were valid. Last week, he refused to answer a reporter’s questions about the January 6th insurrection and whether he would accept the results of this year’s election.

“Richard Uihlein and Ken Griffin may be torn on which empty suit will best carry out their far-right agenda — but one thing they can agree on is wanting to undo Illinois’ progress,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “As Darren Bailey and Richard Irvin spout their donors’ talking points, they’ll have to duke it out with each other and the rest of the crowded field to win over a deeply divided base.”