November 28, 2022

CHICAGO — Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker secured a second term in office with a victory over Xenia Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey.

Pritzker was projected as the winner by news reports shortly after the polls closed, but it remains to be seen whether Pritzker’s margin of victory will exceed the more than 14 percentage points by which Pritzker defeated his Republican predecessor Bruce Rauner.

Find updated unofficial results below as votes are counted in the 2022 Illinois midterms.

After setting a self-funding record by spending more than $161 million of his own money in his first run for governor years ago, Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt fortune, spent more than $150 million of the his own money in his candidacy for re-election. .

In the early stages of the campaign, Pritzker began airing television ads with former President Barack Obama and met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. He has sought to portray his opponent as too extreme for the state, highlighting Bailey’s outspoken opposition to abortion rights and gun regulations.

Bailey’s campaign had comparatively less cash to throw around, though it has been bolstered by tens of millions of dollars in ads funded by another billionaire: Lake Forest shipping magnate Richard Uihlein.

Most of the ads produced by Uihlein’s independent expenditure committee attack Pritzker on crime and tax issues. The group, People Who Play By The Rules PAC, is led by Dan Proft, a Florida radio host and political operative.

Since the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois, Bailey has been a prominent critic of the governor’s policies. A state representative at the time, he took Pritzker to court after the first extension of the governor’s stay-at-home order and initially won a restraining order that limited state officials from fulfill the order

State and federal judges would uphold most of Pritzker’s pandemic policies until a Sangamon County judge launched a statewide mask mandate for schools.

Bailey refused to wear a mask when state lawmakers returned to Springfield for a four-day special session at the Bank of Springfield in May 2020, the first since the pandemic began. He was escorted out on the first day, with some Republican lawmakers voting along with Democrats to remove him from the venue. Bailey returned for the rest of the session and fulfilled the mandate of the mask.

The next time the General Assembly met, in a special session in January 2021, Bailey made headlines for collapsing on the House floor. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin later attributed the drop to “gastrointestinal issues.” Bailey launched his campaign for governor the following month, winning about 57 percent of the vote in a six-way Republican primary in June.

Pritzker’s spending supported Bailey in the primary. Through the Democratic Governors Association, Pritzker funded attack ads against Bailey’s primary opponent, who was perceived as the biggest threat in the general election, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. The group also funded spots claiming Bailey was “too conservative,” which appeared to boost the southern Illinois farmer and first-term state senator’s primary prospects.

Libertarian Party candidate Scott Schluter is expected to finish third when the vote count ends. Schluter is the longtime chairman of the Southern Illinois Libertarian Party, a diesel technician and an Iraq War veteran.

Unofficial election results via the Associated Press. Late vote-by-mail and provisional ballots are not included in the count.

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