Published: Thu, March 22, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

Billionaire Pritzker wins Illinois Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Rauner

Billionaire Pritzker wins Illinois Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Rauner

Bruce Rauner (R) addresses a crowd on Tuesday.

IL held primaries Tuesday for Congress and the governor's mansion in which both parties tested the viability of centrist incumbents against challengers backed by their party's ideological wings.

Coming after primaries in Texas and a special election in Pennsylvania that caused some upheaval, the contests in IL gave at least a temporary boost to the establishment. Voters also picked a likely successor to longtime Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) as well as the winners in primaries for governor, attorney general, and legislative races.

Democrat Paul Stoddard will face Republican Jeff Keicher in November in the race for the IL 70th District House seat, which had been occupied by longtime incumbent Republican Bob Pritchard.

The strong turnout by Democrats in the IL primary should prove to be a warning sign for Republicans looking to keep their Senate and House majorities, The Washington Times is reporting.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, billionaire J.B. Pritzker dominated the polls in the Democratic primary for governor, beating out opponents Chris Kennedy and Senator Daniel Biss after spending $70 million on his primary campaign.

But while Rauner has won this fight, his battle for the general election is looking a lot more fraught.

Conservative publication National Review endorsed Ives a week before the primary campaign March 16, saying Rauner "has failed to deliver on his promises even after Republicans picked up enough seats in 2016 to sustain a veto". Utilizing a groundswell of right-leaning supporters irate over Rauner's signing controversial legislature last September to expand taxpayer-subsidized abortions, Ives came within several points of moving on to face Pritzker.

A close race in the primaries only spells trouble for the incumbent Republican governor on the road ahead.

The Republican Governors Association, meanwhile, labeled Pritzker a "self-serving IL political insider".

In his victory speech, Pritzker took aim at Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. "Those are pretty typical non-conservative stances on those issues". He also has work to do in winning back conservatives, who almost handed the nomination to his opponent, a relative unknown statewide who raised less than $4 million. Newman said Tuesday night she would not concede as she wanted Lipinski "to have a very painful evening". And Newman said her campaign had had an effect.

Seven-term Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) survived a challenge from political newcomer Marie Newman in the 3rd Congressional District.

Rauner, a wealthy former private equity investor, made clear he won't go down without a fight. He also engaged in a long budget standoff with the state legislature that left IL $15 billion behind on its bills and triggered multiple downgrades that pushed the state's credit rating nearly to junk status.

The race for IL governor will be a battle between two deep-pocketed candidates who've already sunk more than $120 million combined into the contest, putting it on pace to become the costliest such campaign in USA history. Pritzker spent more than $60 million to win his race.

"I'm J.B. Pritzker and I'm going to beat Bruce Rauner!".

Finally, in the attorney general's race among Democrats, state legislator Kwame Raoul is holding a probably insurmountable lead over former governor Pat Quinn.

"His victory came despite an intense effort on the part of pro-abortion and women groups to purge the party of an anti-abortion legislator in a reliably Democratic district", CNN explained.

Rauner claimed victory during the 10 o'clock news, before media outlets had even called the race in his favor.

Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan was projected to win in the race against Rep. Rodney Davis (R), in a central IL district evenly divided between the parties.

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