J.B. Pritzker has been reelected for a second term as Illinois governor, defeating Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey, according to the Associated Press.
Both Bailey, a southern Illinois farmer, and the Democratic governor accused the other of being too extreme for Illinois.
With Democrats’ supermajority control of the General Assembly, Pritzker has enjoyed four years of pushing through major initiatives beginning with an overdue $45 billion capital construction plan, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, legalized recreational marijuana while later reducing tens of billions of dollars in debt. Additionally, a great deal of the second half of his term was spent fighting COVID-19 and weathering criticism — led by his current opponent, Bailey — over his measures to stem the spread of the potentially deadly disease.
The 57-year-old billionaire equity investor and philanthropist is campaigning on those achievements in seeking a second term against Bailey, a Republican and farmer from southern Illinois.
Bailey, who received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump during the Republican Primary, has attacked Pritzker on issues such as state spending and crime, dubbing Chicago a “hellhole” and bashing a criminal justice overhaul that ends cash bail, which he claims will create a “revolving door” in jails for violent criminals.
Pritzker counters that Bailey, 56, who served one term in the House before winning his Senate seat in 2020, is too extreme for Illinois, embracing Trump’s MAGA movement, opposing any restrictions on firearms ownership and favoring an abortion ban, although Bailey says abortion restrictions are not on his agenda.
Ideas matter. So does money. On Sept. 30, state campaign finance records indicated that Pritzker had $42 million in his campaign account. Bailey had $767,000. Being on the wrong end of that funding imbalance makes it difficult to familiarize voters with your ideas.