NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Democratic voters kick Republican Bruce Rauner out of the Illinois governorship

One of the Repub­li­can gov­er­nors that Democ­rats set their sights on defeat­ing at the begin­ning of this cycle has now been top­pled, accord­ing to media pro­jec­tions.

Illi­nois’s next chief exec­u­tive will be a Demo­c­rat, the Chica­go Tri­bune reports. “Repub­li­can Bruce Rauner’s staff says the gov­er­nor has con­ced­ed to Demo­c­rat J.B. Pritzk­er and promised a smooth tran­si­tion,” the news­pa­per’s Jeff Coen reports.

Rauner’s con­ces­sion call to Pritzk­er came about 30 min­utes after polls closed, cam­paign spokesman Will Alli­son said.

Bare­ly any votes had been count­ed in the bit­ter race in which the two can­di­dates broke nation­al cam­paign spend­ing records by tap­ping their per­son­al for­tunes for hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars.

Pritzk­er pumped $171.5 mil­lion into his cam­paign fund over the course of two years. The mon­ey paid for a non­stop stream of adver­tis­ing on TV and the inter­net to both attack Rauner and get Pritzker’s name in front of vot­ers in a state where he’s nev­er held elect­ed office.

And some of it went to oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic cam­paigns and caus­es, build­ing the par­ty with his per­son­al wealth just like Rauner did for Illi­nois Repub­li­cans.

Rauner has now been defeat­ed in a man­ner sim­i­lar to how he was elect­ed four years ago — a rather inter­est­ing turn of events.

Pritzk­er will inher­it a state gov­ern­ment grap­pling with a lot of fis­cal prob­lems, but he will have a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Leg­is­la­ture to work to try to move his reform agen­da.

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