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Illinois’ Richest Resident is Florida’s Latest Blue State Refugee

Chicago hedge fund manager Ken Griffin announced his investment firm Citadel will relocate to Miami.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - Illinois’ richest resident, Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, is taking his Chicago-based investment firm to the Sunshine State. After months of threatening to relocate, Griffin announced the decision to move Citadel headquarters to Miami in a memo to employees in late June, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Griffin, a major Republican donor, has been outspoken about the high crime rates in Chicago and how it can impact businesses and communities. He represents thousands of ordinary citizens who were pushed beyond their breaking point by the events of the last two years. Rioting with impunity, business shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, and mask and vaccine mandates in blue states appear to be the straws that broke the camel’s back for many Americans.

The billionaire hedge fund manager joins a long list of wealthy individuals and successful businesses who have chosen to relocate from a Democrat-run state to one led by a Republican governor during the last two years. In 2020 and 2021, Joe Rogan, Elon Musk and Ben Shapiro relocated their thriving businesses from California to red states. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Remington and Tesla headlined the corporate migration.

Citadel joins Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, Elliott Management, MRA Capital Partners and Dun & Bradstreet as newcomers to the Sunshine State. Florida led all states in new tech businesses last year, with 2,715 added from the year prior, and was second to only Texas in the total number of tech jobs added with over 10,500, according to IT trade association CompTIA.

In the first four months of this year, over 21,500 New York residents relocated to Florida, The New York Post reports. That figure, measured by driver’s license changes, is 12% higher than last year’s total during the same period, and 55% higher than the number in 2019. New Florida residents also poured in from New Jersey, with 10,580 driver’s license swaps, California with 9,645 and Pennsylvania with 8,412 in the first four months of 2022.

“You’ve really seen a Great American Exodus. These people are coming to kind of a political Promised Land, where they’re fleeing these blue jurisdictions,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told The Florida Standard in an exclusive interview this week. “We’re offering something for people that I think they viewed instinctively as more consistent with what America is supposed to be.”