Already facing criticism from Republican opponents for companies leaving Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker is coming under greater scrutiny after billionaire Ken Griffin announced his investment firm Citadel would leave Chicago.
Griffin, the state’s richest man, made the announcement in a letter to employees Thursday, revealing the company will be moving to Florida after more than 30 years in Illinois.
“Miami is a dynamic and growing metropolis that embodies the American dream. I’m thrilled to have recently moved to Miami with my family and look forward to rapidly expanding Citadel into a city so rich in diversity and bursting with energy.
Griffin’s decision comes just eight months after warning an audience at the Economic Club of Chicago that he was considering relocating the company due to crime in the city, warning that the company would consider leaving within years if the statistics did not return.
Now, less than a year after making that comment, Citadel is heading to South Beach, along with its CEO, who is worth more than $25 billion.
Pritzker’s office, which has now seen Boeing and Caterpillar also announce plans to move their headquarters from Illinois this month, released a statement saying the state was still “leading the nation in relocations.” companies” and that the administration’s policies had helped Illinois businesses.
“We will continue to welcome these companies, including Kellogg, which just announced this week that it is moving its largest headquarters to Illinois, and support emerging industries that are already creating good jobs and investing billions. in Illinois, such as data centers, electric vehicles and quantum. computing.”
Despite this optimistic tone, Pritzker still faces heavy criticism from Republican opponents hoping for a chance to unseat him in November, including Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, whose campaign has received nearly $50 million. of Griffin’s donation dollars.
“JB Pritzker is either in complete denial or simply refuses to acknowledge what everyone is seeing, which is that his pro-criminal, high-tax administration is literally driving jobs and businesses out of state,” Irvin said. in a press release. “It’s a clear pattern that shows no signs of ending unless we beat Pritzker in November, and I’m the only person in this race with a proven track record of success to take over Illinois.”
A recent poll showed Irvin trailing State Sen. Darren Bailey in the race for the Republican nomination, with businessman Jesse Sullivan also firmly in the mix as the election nears. tuesday.