Democrat J.B. Pritzker has been projected to the next governor of Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets.
Republican Bruce Rauner has conceded to his opponent. Pritzker becomes Illinois’ first Democratic governor since 2014.
A Rauner spokesman told ABC7 that the governor called Pritzker to concede. The ousted Republican also spoke to supporters before 8 p.m.
“The change we sought for Illinois is still the change we need. There’s no going back to a time of insider deals and corruption,” he said. “The people of Illinois deserve and will demand a government that helps them realize their potential and supports their prosperity.”
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The Democratic Governor’s Association issued a statement after Pritzker was declared the winner:
“Congratulations to Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker for his commanding victory in Illinois. JB ran a model campaign, focused on the issues that matter to Illinois voters: strengthening health care, investing in education, and fixing the budget mess that Governor Bruce Rauner left. J.B. also built a strong campaign infrastructure to help up-and-down the ticket.
“Illinois voters spoke loudly today by overwhelmingly supporting J.B.’s plans to bring much needed change to the Land of Lincoln. J.B. will turn the page from the last four years in Illinois, and get the state moving in the right direction again.
“J.B. Pritzker has served his community as a national advocate for early childhood education and started a non-profit business incubator to bring tech jobs to Illinois. Now, as governor he will continue his record of service for Illinois families, focusing on creating jobs, expanding quality health care and investing in education. This is a much-welcomed turn around for Illinois. I’m honored to have worked with J.B. to add Illinois back to the Democratic column.”
Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, has given at least $146 million to his campaign. Rauner, a multimillionaire equity investor, has pumped at least $50 million of his own money into his campaign, according to CBS 2.
Return to bnd.com for more on this race.