JB Pritzker wins second term as Illinois governor
Gov. JB Pritzker won his second term as Illinois governor — and it doesn't seem to be close.
- The Associated Press called the win for Pritzker over state Sen. Darren Bailey mere seconds after the polls closed.
Why it matters: The win gives Pritzker a mandate to continue his legislative agenda, which includes criminal justice reform and maintaining the state as a haven for reproductive rights.
- Pritzker's victory also shows the continuing influence of money in Illinois politics, as this campaign was the most expensive in state history.
Context: The two candidates spent $215 million, with Pritzker self-financing over $132 million.
- Bailey and other GOP candidates were supported by billionaires Dick Uihlein and Ken Griffin.
- The race got ugly, with PACs using shifty tactics to misinform voters.
- It was also one of several races across the country in which Democrats appeared to strategically take on a far-right candidate, as they were presumably easier to beat.
What they're saying: "Two of the nation's biggest MAGA billionaires along with their team of political grifters spewed lies and innuendo," Pritzker said in his victory speech last night.
- "You showed them that Illinois is a state that stands up for working-class families and rejects their selfish agenda."
- "Illinois' excellence defies division."
The other side: The majority of voters rejected Bailey's assertion that the state is broken and Chicago is a "hellhole."
- In other words, Bailey's attacks on Chicago didn't resonate with voters from … Chicago.
What he's saying: "Republicans need to be the loyal opposition in Springfield," Bailey said in his concession speech last night, " ... in opposition to the radical policies of the Democrats."
What we're watching: Pritzker's big win signals he's the undisputed leader of the Democratic Party in Illinois, but could he also be burnishing his reputation ahead of a presidential bid?