photo from JB Pritzker’s website
It was just announced from multiple sources that Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate just won his race for Governor of Illinois against Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner, securing 49.9% of the vote by 7:30 central time. Rauner called Pritzker to concede by 8 PM, according to the Tribune.
The race has been one for the history books, campaign spending skyrocketed on both sides, many have noted that this election marks the most ever spent on a gubernatorial campaign.
Democrat Pritzker spent $171 million while Rauner, following his first election, has spent close to $70 million of his own money.
“It is very hard for the average person to be able to run effectively,” Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago said. “We have to completely reform how we finance elections or very soon we will not have democracy.”
Just last week, USA Today reported that Rauner had complained to other Republicans that Pritzker had dumped nearly $100 million more into his campaign than the sitting governor and his backers had.
Two-term Republican governor Jim Edgar, who resides in Springfield but is out of state, said by phone that given the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows candidates to pour an unlimited amount of money into their campaigns, it’s “no surprise.”
“I don’t think we should be surprised it was most expensive – you have two rich guys running. I do think it’s unfortunate party leaders now just want to sign not just millionaires, but multi-millionaires” as candidates.
Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.