SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The ballots are in, and the ticket for the November general election is set.
State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) will be facing off against Governor J.B. Pritzker for the governor’s race. Bailey pulverized the competition, receiving over 58% of the vote in a six-man primary.
“Illinois is a lot worse off now than it was four years ago,” Bailey said in his victory speech Tuesday night. “It’s a lot worse off than it was 40 years ago. And it’s time for something different.”
For Bailey to beat Pritzker, he will need a united Republican party– something he currently doesn’t have.
Some camps have no trouble joining Bailey’s side. Venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan came in a distant 2nd place in the primary with about 16% of the vote, but he said Bailey has his “full support”.
“This is not the end of this fight for me, or for anybody here,” Sullivan said. “Because really, this is a calling that says we love our home.”
Many Republican critics disparaged Bailey for his ultra-conservative viewpoints, saying it would alienate suburban voters.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who came in 3rd place with 15% of the vote, said he wishes Bailey well, but attributed his loss to someone else.
“J.B. Pritzker won the Republican primary for Governor here in Illinois,” Irvin said. “He spent a historic amount of money to choose his own Republican opponent in the general election.”
According to a source within the Irvin campaign, over $75 million dollars was spent on attacking Irvin by the Democratic’s Governor Association, a group Pritzker heavily funds, and Dick Uhlein, a billionaire and Bailey donor. Ken Griffin, the richest man in Illinois and a Republican mega-donor, supported Irvin’s campaign with $50 million.
Bailey attributes the party’s shortcomings in gaining traction for elections in the state to its leadership like House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie and Illinois Republican Party chairman Don Tracy.
“I look forward to having renewed conversations with them,” Bailey said in an interview with WGN Wednesday. “We’ve got to call it as it is, and that’s been failed Republican leadership.”
The Illinois Republican party congratulated Bailey and is confident they’ll unite in time for November.
“Yesterday’s competitors are tomorrow’s friends,” Tracy said at Bailey’s campaign party.
Governor Pritzker wasted no time before attacking Bailey, releasing a new ad Wednesday morning highlighting Bailey’s ‘extreme’ anti-abortion stance.