Ives concedes to Rauner in GOP primary
Amid chants of “Jeanne, Jeanne,” Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) conceded defeat to Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary.
The Chicago Tribune reported with 87 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial returns pegged Rauner at 51.6 percent to Ives' 48.4 percent.
“This is still one of most historic nights in Illinois,” Ives told an overflowing Glen Ellyn crowd of supporters in a video she posted to Facebook. “You know as I know, Bruce Rauner had to be challenged in this election. I will tell you we are very proud of the effort we have made. This campaign was started on faith. We had no money, no team. We had a lot of grass-roots supporters who knew we had to stand up.”
When Ives announced her candidacy, the Tribune said Rauner dismissed her as a “fringe candidate." On Primary night, even Ives conceded that no one expected her campaign to come so close.
“We proved that grass-roots cannot be taken advantage of,” she said. “Our campaign did not have high-price, out of state consultants. We did not even have a campaign manager. But this was the most grass-roots campaign I have ever been a part of.”
Ives did not say where she will go from here, or if she planned to support Rauner in his general election battle against Democrat J.B. Pritzker next November.
“We must get back our business climate,” Ives told the crowd. “We can’t continue to have the highest property taxes and tax burden and think that we can serve our citizens well. A day of reckoning is coming. We are not finished with our job... .”
Ives told the crowd that all her campaigning left her even more confident the time has come for lawmakers, no matter what their stripe, to get serious about the state’s ongoing fiscal problems.
“In the state of Illinois, we don’t have a Democrat or Republican problem," she said. "We have a math problem. You can’t just keep spending yourself into oblivion and think things are going to be better the next day.”
Over the life of the campaign, Ives was grossly outspent by Rauner, as she raised just $4 million compared to the $50 million he pumped into his campaign out of his own pocket.
In his victory speech, Rauner assured voters across the state that he had heard their message loud and clear.
“I have traveled the state and I have listened to you,” he said according to the Chicago Tribune. “While we disagree on some things, let's commit to working together on what unites us - the reforms we need to save our state.”
The Rauner vs. Pritzker battle shapes up to be one between two billionaires.
The Tribune reported with 86 percent of the vote counted, Pritzker had bagged 46 percent to state Sen. Daniel Biss’ (D-Evanston) 26 percent and Kenilworth developer Chris Kennedy’s 24 percent.
“So tonight we begin a general election campaign about issues that are as bold as they are big,” Pritzker told cheering supporters. “This campaign is not just about the failed policies of a failed governor who thinks that lifting up the people of Illinois is a government expense rather than an investment in the future. No, this campaign is about a fight for economic security, about jobs and wages, health care, education, and human services for working families in Illinois.”