Gov. JB Pritzker wins decisively in Illinois governor’s race over Republican Darren Bailey


Patrick Sloan-Turner

Gov. JB Pritzker smiles to supporters after declaring victory in the Illinois governor’s race over Republican Darren Bailey at the Chicago Marriott Marquis hotel Tuesday night.

Screams and shouts echoed throughout the Chicago Marriott Marquis banquet room of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s victory party after the Associated Press (AP) declared him victor in the Illinois governor’s race. 

Darren Bailey, Republican challenger and Illinois State Sen., said he called Pritzker Tuesday night to congratulate him, according to NBC Chicago. Bailey’s concession came after a relatively early declaration by AP around 7 p.m., pointing to a comfortable win for the incumbent governor.

GALLERY – Gov. Pritzker and Sen. Duckworth celebrate election victories:

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  • Gov. Pritzker, his wife MK Muenster, and their two children Donny (left) and Teddi (second from left) wave to a crowd of supporters at the newly re-elected governor’s victory party on 11/8.

  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth hugs her daughters on stage as her husband Bryan Bowlsbey looks on at Duckworth’s victory party at Adler Planetarium in Chicago Tuesday night.

  • Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton shares a laugh in celebration of her running-mate’s win with a crowd of supporters at the Pritzker campaign’s victory party Tuesday night.

  • Confetti rains down over a group of supporters at Gov. Pritzker’s victory party at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago Tuesday night.

  • Senator Tammy Duckworth debriefs with media after her victory speech at Adler Planetarium on election night. This will be her second term as U.S. senator.

  • Gov. JB Pritzker waves to the crowd after AP declared the incumbent governor a winner in the Illinois gubernatorial race Tuesday night.

  • Duckworth has been US senator since 2017. She previously served in the Army National Guard.

  • Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton celebrates on stage with her husband, Bryan Echols, at Gov. Pritzker’s victory party Tuesday night.

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Throughout the night, supporters filled the hall to see Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and Pritzker speak about their win at the victory party. Glasses were raised, ice clinking as people shouted into the crowd “C’mon now!” while the politicians spoke of the accomplishments they’ve had in their previous four years, as well as what is to come for the next four years. 

Pritzker’s plan for the future relies strongly on the phrase “I choose to fight,” which he said derives from watching his mother fight her alcoholism, as he mentioned during his campaign four years ago. He said he “chooses to fight” to make Illinois a place where women can exercise their reproductive rights, protect Illinois families, workers, civil and voting rights.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton waves to supporters Monday night at Gov. JB Pritzker’s victory party in Chicago. (Patrick Sloan-Turner)

“I choose to fight for the better world imagined by those who never let their hopes be reined in by their experiences,” Pritzker said in his speech. “I choose to fight the fights my mother never gave up on – the fights she left to me to finish.”

In wake of the past summer’s Roe v. Wade decision, Pritzker’s campaign largely focused on reproductive rights and keeping Illinois a state with ease of access to abortion.

The incumbent had a strong message to conservatives focused on reeling back abortion rights in Illinois Tuesday night. 

“To anyone who thinks they can come into the state and force some right-wing, MAGA war on a woman’s body, you will never get an inch of Illinois,” Pritzker said.

Looking onwards, both Pritzker and Stratton’s words had themes of standing up for right for the people of Illinois. Stratton mentioned how the people of Illinois need to fight for what they believe in, while also being a beacon of light to welcome people who need what Illinois can offer.

Tonight, our light shines and it illuminates a path forward where Illinois is a home for all,” Stratton said to the crowd. “Where we welcome everyone with open arms, and open doors for All to have a good life; with equitable treatment in our economic system, the criminal justice system, our health care system, our schools, and the very environment in which we live.”

Following the speeches, Pritzker left his audience with one question.

“Illinois, I am here and I am ready for the fight,” Pritzker said. “Are you ready for the fight?”

To see more updates and election coverage, browse The DePaulia’s “2022 Midterms” section.