Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker won his re-election bid for Republican Downstate Senator Darren Bailey.
The Associated Press called the race at 7 p.m., based on exit polls. About five hours later, Pritzker led Bailey from his 55% to his 42.1%, reporting just over 79% of him in the precinct. Citing the network calling for the race, Pritzker took the stage to give a victory speech at 8:13 p.m.
“I am very excited to spend another four years as your governor,” Mr. Pritzker cheered.
In a fiery speech that recalled his political speeches that fueled speculation about the president, Pritzker aimed directly at MAGA Republicans and said he would defend Illinois at all costs when it comes to abortion rights.
Bailey, who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in the primary election, had trouble discussing Trump during the general election.
“Anyone who comes to this state and tries to impose right-wing MAGA wars on women’s bodies doesn’t get an inch of Illinois,” Pritzker said.
In a prepared statement sent to reporters, Pritzker planned to say Bailey had conceded, and it was a sign democracy works. Bailey had not admitted at the time of Pritzker’s speech – and he waited nearly 90 minutes to do so.
Pritzker’s campaign later confirmed that Bailey finally conceded defeat around 9:38 p.m., just minutes before Republicans took the stage to address his own supporters in Springfield. did.
“There’s no easy way to articulate this, but until the Republican Party is ready to oust extremists, they need to do it for them at the ballot box,” Pritzker told his supporters in Chicago. Told. “The fight for democracy, the fight for freedom, the fight for freedom, the fight for decency should be peaceful, but not cowardly. It should be loud. No politician should be given a convenient rhetoric hiding place.”
More than 250 people gathered in the Great Lakes Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis for Pritzker’s election night party. When the AP called for Pritzker’s election, loud cheers erupted, with supporters waving flags and signs chanting “JB! JB!
In Springfield, the race was called by the AP before Bailey’s election party began, as the supporters were still fooling around.
Bailey took the stage around 9:44pm, minutes after “Sweet Home Chicago” blared over the public address system at Crowne Plaza Springfield.
“This is not part of this speech, but there is still room for miracles,” Bailey told the audience.
But the Republican farmer from southern Illinois admitted in his next breath that the night didn’t go the way he had hoped. He vowed to remain a member of the “opposition”.
“JB Pritzker needs to get better,” Bailey said.
Pritzker did his best with words and millions of dollars worth of advertising, portraying Bailey as an extremist too dangerous to serve as governor. I paid attention to
But Bailey wanted to ride the wave of discontent, especially in states frustrated with President Joe Biden and the economy.
Four years ago, Pritzker downgraded Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner by nearly 16 percent. In terms of 2018 birth votes, Pritzker received the most votes of any candidate for governor of Illinois since 1976.
In the final weeks of the campaign, Bailey did his best to win votes in Chicago and Color County. It’s called one. Corral. He often said that Pritzker’s policies were ravaging cities and causing unruly crime – in keeping with the Republican strategy of pinning crime on Democratic leaders.
Established Republicans in the state are still frustrated by the millions of dollars Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association spent on advertising to endorse Bailey in the Republican primary.
Like many governors, Pritzker was forced to switch gears and lead the state’s pandemic response after a decisive legislative victory in his first year. At the same time trying to save his life, he tried to create enemies with his orders and his stay-at-home orders.
It was the pandemic that helped spur the movement led by Bailey and his supporters. But the seed had already been sown in his 2018. At this time, staunchly conservative former state congressman Jeanne Ives nearly defeated Rauner in the Republican primary.
Pritzker’s team was coy about his future, but political speeches in New Hampshire and Florida sparked speculation that he was considering running for president. He’s pushing to host a national convention, another sign that a test balloon is out there to see if the Democrats consider him a presidential candidate.
By: Alex Degman, WBEZ Capitol Reporter