(CBS) — Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner narrowly defeated State Senator Kirk Dillard for the GOP governor nomination and will take on Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in the fall.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Rauner had 40 percent of the vote to Dillard’s 37 percent.
“The voters are going to face a stark choice in November, a major decision about the future of our state. It’s a choice between failure of the past and a new day.” Rauner said at his victory party.
The businessman also repeated his promise to enact term limits for politicians in Springfield.
Rauner has spent heavily on political ads and has poured about $6 million of his own money into the campaign.
Republican State Senator Kirk Dillard campaigned across the state with former Republican Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, touting his experience as Edgar’s chief of staff. Dillard also received the backing of several labor unions.
Governor Pat Quinn easily defeated former Ceasefire director Tio Hardiman in the Democratic Primary.
Quinn’s victory was widely expected and he spent time campaigning against Hardiman, although indications are Quinn is ready to shift into campaign mode now that his GOP opponent has been decided as he has purchased $40,000 in TV ads set to run in Chicago late on Tuesday and early Wednesday.
CBS 2 has obtained a commercial that the Quinn campaign has a commercial ready to air which targets Rauner. The ad was prepared before the GOP nomination was decided.
In his victory speech, Quinn pledged to raise the minimum wage for workers in Illinois.
“We in the Democratic Party and all across Illinois, we respect our workers. We understand that there are some of the hardest jobs in our society and that is why we intend to raise the minimum wage in Illinois this year,” Quinn told his supporters.
State Senator Bill Brady, the 2010 Republican nominee for governor, was hoping for a repeat of that primary election in which he won despite trailing in the polls, but conceded after falling behind Rauner and Dillard.
The Brady family and the Rodriguez family are going to do everything they can to support whoever our nominee is and to make sure that we put the right person in the governor’s office to lead this state into the future for the people and the families of Illinois,” said Brady in his concession speech.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford spoke shortly after polls closed and said the last couple weeks have been “horrible.” Rutherford’s campaign was plagued by a federal lawsuit filed by a former employee accusing Rutherford of sexual harassment. Rutherford has denied the allegations and says he will be vindicated.
“These last few weeks have truthfully been the most challenging in my entire life. There’s no question about it. It’s been horrible.”
Rutherford says he will focus on a legislative remap in the future and promised that, “Dan Rutherford is not going away…I’m going to be back.”