Chicago, IL: Just four days after completing his state-wide “Don’t Close Our Communities” tour on Oct. 8, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar declared he was withdrawing from the Democratic primary for governor.
The primary election is scheduled six months from now. Pawar, the 47th District alderman, said he was not able to compete against wealthier competitors.
“We raised $828k from 2,526 donors; that is amazing. But as you know, the race for Illinois governor will set a record as the costliest race in American history,” Pawar said in a statement to media ending his campaign.
Pawar had released a video based on the theme “Unity” when he kicked off the second leg of his campaign of Don’t Close our Communities. His plan included touring 14 cities in 4 days and he was joined by his running mate, Tyrone Coleman. Pawar’s platform, A New Deal for Illinois, illustrated his vision for the state where a “people’s government” would invest in communities, create good paying jobs, and provide opportunities for working families to get ahead.
“What’s missing is the political will to make everybody pay their fair share, and quite frankly make wealthy people pay their fair share. And wealth doesn’t have to be demonized. We just have to stop worshiping it.” Pawar at that time, adding, “We are told over and over again that the state is broke. And it is true that it is broke on paper. But for perspective, the size of the Illinois economy is $700 billion. It’s the 5th largest in the country. It’s bigger than most other countries around the world. So, the idea that we don’t have the money to pay for the things that we care about, or more importantly to take care of each other, is just patently false,” Pawar contended.
Pawar raised just $828,000 in total since January, not enough to stay in the race, compared to candidate Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, who has raised $2.75 million, with $500,000 coming from his personal donation, according to news reports.
In his statement opting out of the race, Pawar said that the only two options he had were to either cut staff or to take personal debt and both the options were not practically possible. He said he feels bad for people who supported him but he neither had wealth nor connections to continue the race.