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Pritzker Wins Illinois, But Loses McLean County

Bruce Rauner mourns
Matt Marton
Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to supporters after losing his re-election bid to Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker in Chicago on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner conceded Tuesday to Democratic opponent J.B. Pritzker.

Rauner’s concession came less than an hour after polls closed Tuesday night. In his concession speech, Rauner said it is time to put aside partisan differences. He added it was an honor to serve as governor.

Pritzker led with 54 percent of the vote, with 97 percent of precincts reporting. Rauner drew 39 percent of the vote. Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann won 4 percent, and Libertarian Kash Jackson got 2 percent.

Rauner won McLean County overall (49-42), though he lost in the City of Bloomington by 496 votes. Rauner narrowly survived a March primary fight from state Rep. Jeanne Ives. But his margin of victory over Ives in McLean County (53-46) was bigger than it was statewide (51-48). 

Pritzker won the Democratic primary handily. But he actually lost McLean County to Daniel Biss, who won 45 percent of the vote here and became a favorite for college Democrats and other local progressives. Pritzker has campaigned in Bloomington-Normal several times in the past year. 

President Donald Trump narrowly won McLean County in 2016, by around 1,000 votes, over Democrat Hillary Clinton. That’s because of how well he did in rural McLean County, outside Bloomington-Normal, where he picked up 63 percent of the vote. Clinton actually won Bloomington-Normal.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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