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J.B. Pritzker-backed group sends $250,000 to Virginia Democrats

A nonprofit launched by the Illinois governor, Think Big America, is giving money to Virginia Democrats battling for control of the state legislature on Nov. 7.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker poses for a portrait.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.Christopher Dilts / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Think Big America, a nonprofit group affiliated with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is donating $250,000 to Virginia Democrats with a week to go before state legislative elections that could decide the future of abortion policy in the state.

The group is sending $25,000 apiece to four Democrats running in battleground Senate districts: state Dels. Danica Roem and Schuyler Van Valkenburg, former prosecutor Russet Perry and entrepreneur Joel Griffin.

The remaining $150,000 is going to the Democratic Party of Virginia.

The money comes just ahead of the Nov. 7 elections, in which Republicans are seeking to hold the state House and flip the state Senate. That result would give the GOP full control of the Legislature for the final two years of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's term, giving the party the opportunity to push its legislative agenda — including new restrictions on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation.

Youngkin has pledged to sign the abortion limit if Republicans take the Legislature. Democrats, meanwhile, have made abortion central to their campaign messaging in the state, spending major money on ad campaigns decrying the GOP's plans.

A recent TV ad funded by Perry included a narrator labeling her Republican opponent “bad for women.”

And women in a recent TV ad run by Griffin’s campaign called his GOP opponent “extreme” and “terrifying.”

Meanwhile, Youngkin’s PAC, Spirit of Virginia, has paid to fund a TV ad in the state that includes a woman saying: “It’s just not true — their lies about abortion. It’s disinformation, politics at its worst.”

In a statement, Think Big America's spokesperson Christina Amestoy highlighted the importance of ensuring abortion remains accessible in the state.

“Abortion access is on the line in Virginia. Given the chance, anti-choice extremists and their far-right allies will roll back reproductive freedoms in the last state in the south where women’s freedoms are still protected," she said.

"Think Big America is committed to fighting extremism at every level and will always work to defend a woman’s right to choose," she added.

It is the third contribution Think Big America has announced since it launched two weeks ago.

The nonprofit group has also given money to pro-abortion-rights groups in Ohio, where voters will head to the polls to vote on a ballot measure that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.

Think Big America has also given to groups in Nevada seeking to place a constitutional amendment on reproductive rights on the ballot there next year.