Illinois 2022 election results: JB Pritzker quickly defeats Darren Bailey

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker won his re-election bid against Republican Southern State Senator Darren Bailey in a landslide victory that also paves the way for any future political aspiration.

The Associated Press called the race at 7 p.m., based on exit polls. About five hours later, with just over 79% back from the constituencies, Pritzker led Bailey 55% to 42.1%. Pritzker took the stage to deliver a victory speech at 8:13 p.m., citing networks calling the race.

“I am so thrilled to spend four more years as governor,” Pritzker said to cheers.

In a fiery speech reminiscent of his political speeches that sparked presidential speculation, Pritzker took direct aim at Republicans in MAGA, saying he would defend Illinois at all costs on abortion rights.

Bailey was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the primary, but was careful not to discuss Trump in the general election.

“Anyone who thinks they can walk into this state and try to force a right-wing MAGA war on a woman’s body, you’ll never get an inch from Illinois,” Pritzker said.

In prepared remarks sent to reporters, Pritzker had planned to say that Bailey had conceded, and that was a sign that democracy is working. It seemed like a slightly rosy scenario. Bailey hadn’t conceded at the time of Pritzker’s speech – and he waited nearly 90 minutes to do so.

Pritzker’s campaign later confirmed that Bailey finally admitted defeat around 9:38 p.m., just minutes before the Republican took the stage to address his own supporters in Springfield.

Democratic incumbent Governor JB Pritzker celebrates with his wife MK Pritzker during a campaign rally at the Marriott Marquis Chicago on Tuesday night.

Democratic incumbent Governor JB Pritzker celebrates with his wife MK Pritzker during a campaign rally at the Marriott Marquis Chicago on Tuesday night.

“There’s no nice or easy way to say this, but until the Republican Party is ready to kick the extremists out of their midst, we have to do it for them at the polls,” Pritzker told his colleagues. supporters in Chicago. “The fight for democracy, the fight for freedom, the fight for freedom, the fight for decency must be peaceful but not shy. It must be pronounced. He should not offer any politician a convenient rhetorical hiding place. »

A crowd of more than 250 gathered in the Marriott Marquis’ Great Lakes Ballroom for Pritzker’s election night. Loud cheers rose as the AP called Pritzker’s election, with supporters waving flags and signs and chanting “JB! J.B.! »

Supporters cheer as incumbent Democratic Governor JB Pritzker speaks during a campaign rally at the Marriott Marquis Chicago on Tuesday night.

Supporters cheer as incumbent Democratic Governor JB Pritzker speaks during a campaign rally at the Marriott Marquis Chicago on Tuesday night.

In Springfield, the race was called by the AP before the start of Bailey’s campaign party as supporters continued to infiltrate. It happened so early that the fans didn’t even seem to notice it and didn’t react.

Bailey took the stage at around 9:44 p.m., just minutes after “Sweet Home Chicago” sounded from the Crowne Plaza Springfield’s PA system.

“It’s not part of this speech, but there’s still room for a miracle, my friends,” Bailey told the crowd. “Still room for a miracle until all the votes are counted.”

But in the next breath, the Republican farmer from southern Illinois admitted that the night had not gone as he had hoped. He said he called Pritzker to congratulate him on his victory, but vowed to stay “in opposition.”

“JB Pritzker, you have to be better,” Bailey said.

Darren Bailey leaves the stage after his election night speech Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Springfield Convention Center in Springfield.

Darren Bailey leaves the stage after his election night speech Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Springfield Convention Center in Springfield.

Owen Ziliak/For the Sun-Times

Pritzker has done his best — in words and in millions of advertising dollars — to portray Bailey as too dangerous an extremist to serve as state governor. The Democrat focused on Bailey’s fierce opposition to abortion and his support for Trump.

But Bailey hoped to ride a wave of discontent in the state, especially those unhappy with President Joe Biden and the economy.

Four years ago, Pritzker sent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to pack by nearly 16 percentage points. In terms of raw votes, Pritzker in 2018 received more than any other Illinois gubernatorial candidate since 1976.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Bailey did her best to garner votes in Chicago and the pass counties as Republicans across the country gained momentum. Corral.” He has often said Pritzker’s policies are destroying the city and causing crime out of control — following a GOP playbook of pinning crime on Democratic leaders.

Republican Darren Bailey speaks during his election night Tuesday in Springfield.

Republican Darren Bailey speaks during his election night Tuesday in Springfield.

Owen Ziliak/For the Sun-Times

Establishment Republicans in the state are still angry that Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association spent millions on ads to boost Bailey in the Republican primary — a plan that helped Pritzker pick his main opponent in a field crowded.

After landmark legislative victories in his first year, Pritzker, like many governors around the country, was forced to shift gears and lead the state’s response to the pandemic — trying to save lives while creating enemies with his warrants and stay-at-home orders.

It was the pandemic that helped spur a movement led by Bailey and his followers. But the seeds had already been planted in 2018, when staunchly conservative former State Representative Jeanne Ives nearly beat Rauner in the Republican primary.

Although Pritzker’s team was coy about his future, political speeches in New Hampshire and Florida sparked speculation that he was considering running for president. The governor is also pushing for Chicago to host the Democratic National Convention, another sign that there is a trial balloon there to see if Democrats consider him a presidential candidate.

Contributor: Alex Degman, WBEZ State House Reporter

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