Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

JB Pritzker wins second term as Illinois governor

Photo illustration of Arkansas Governor J. B. Pritzker with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Joshua Lott /Getty Images

Gov. JB Pritzker won his second term as Illinois governor — and it doesn't seem to be close.

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.

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?

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