In the 2022 primary on Tuesday, three contests will serve up intriguing insights on the state of democracy in the Prairie State. Two provide fresh twists on the ever-present topic of money in politics, and a third will give us the latest litmus test for former President Donald Trump’s ability to influence elections.

To an unusual degree, Democrats nationally this year are taking the risky step of spending money in Republican primary races trying to push Republicans they think they can beat in the fall. It’s also happening in Illinois.

And it’s taking place in the most high-profile race, the so-called battle of the billionaires between two of the state’s wealthiest people. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Citadel founder Ken Griffin, a Republican, are squaring off over control of the Governor’s Mansion.

Pritzker is injecting himself directly into the Republican primary, apparently in an effort to thwart the chances of Griffin’s candidate, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, to take him on in November. Together with the Democratic Governors Association, they’re reportedly spending upward of $30 million on the Republican primary in hopes that conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey will be Pritzker’s opponent in November.

Read more at the

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.