We’re now less than three months away from the Illinois Primary – 86 days in fact.

Republicans have a high-stakes race to decide. Their nominee for governor to challenge Gov. JB Pritzker in November.

Eight candidates met the filing deadline to be on the primary ballot. They include Darren Bailey, Richard Irvin, Gary Rabine, and Paul Schimpf.

Jesse Sullivan, Keisha Smith. Emily Johnson and Max Solomon … Challenges have been filed against these four candidates.

A final decision on whether they qualify for the primary is expected on April 21.

You know by now we like to follow the money in these campaigns. There is a lot of it. This is how much they have to work with this quarter based on the cash on hand at the end of the year and campaign contributions reported so far this year:

  • Darren Bailey – almost $1.75 million
  • Richard Irvin – more than $22.5 million
  • Gary Rabine – almost $1.74 million
  • Paul Schimpf – much lower at $146,000
  • Jesse Sullivan – roughly $9.2 million.
  • There are no financial reports for Keisha Smith or Emily Johnson, and Max Solomon is just short of $7,000.

We will get to know Max Solomon better today. He was born and raised in Nigeria, and graduated from high school there. Solomon came to the united states in 1992 when he was 21 years old. He earned a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University in political science, then went on to grad school at Valparaiso University, where he earned a law degree and a master’s degree in theology.

Solomon practices law in Illinois and Indiana. He never has held elected office before, but it’s not for a lack of trying. He ran for the Illinois State Senate in 2016 as a Democrat, but lost in the primary.

Solomon made another run two years later for state representative as a Democrat and again lost in the primary.

Then in 2020 he went for the same seat in the State House, only this time he ran as a Republican. He won the primary, but lost in the general election.

Max Solomon is among the more educated of the Republican candidates for Illinois governor. At the same time, he’s arguably among the least known of the eight who filed to be on the primary ballot.

“We think strongly that our message is going to attract the voters, and the money is going to follow the message,” he said. “Money shouldn’t be a barrier to people when they want to truly serve their community or their state.”

Hear what else Solomon has to say in the video.

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