Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner conceded defeat Tuesday night as Democrat J.B. Pritzker claimed the governorship of Illinois, capturing 59 percent of the vote to Rauner’s 35 percent.
Rauner had fought a tough primary battle against state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), winning by only 22,000 votes. Ives had capitalized on dissatisfaction with Rauner allowing state workers to use tax-supported health benefits to pay for abortions and a protracted budget battle with the Democrat-controlled state House of Representatives.
Both Rauner and Pritzker used money from their personal fortunes to finance their campaigns, the Tribune noted. Over the past two years, Pritzker, a Hyatt Hotel heir, kicked in $172 million into his election efforts, while Rauner supplied $50 million from wealth he acquired as a hedge fund manager.
As the newly elected governor, Pritzker will work with a Democrat-controlled General Assembly, facing a $7.5 billion debt.