Quinn declines to concede, Rauner declares victory

By Eric Cortellessa

With nearly all the major networks calling the governor’s race for Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t throwing in the towel. At roughly 11:15 Tuesday, Quinn refused to concede the race until all the votes are counted.

“We are the government of the many and we do have to take on the government of the money,” he said, standing next to his running mate Paul Vallas. “And we will never, never yield until we get those results.”

As of midnight, 98 percent of Illinois voting precincts had reported. Rauner led Quinn 50.9 percent 45.7 percent, according the Associated Press. NBC News was the first major network to call the election in the former private equity fund manager’s favor around 9:45 p.m.

This election was the most expensive gubernatorial contest in state history – with more than $100 million being spent on the race, doubling the record set four years ago. Rauner contributed more than $28 million out of his own pocket.

The Quinn campaign harped on Rauner’s personal wealth as a sign that he is out of touch with ordinary people. The governor’s campaign emphasized Quinn’s support for raising the minimum wage as a contrast.

Quinn supporters Mark and Janet Maher of Villa Park cited Quinn’s message of economic justice as a crucial reason he earned their vote. They also expressed concern over the economic priorities of a Rauner administration.

“This election shows that our country is for sale,” Mark said. “The middle class are going to take it under the chin.”

Once the State Board of Elections confirms the election results, Rauner will be the first Republican governor of Illinois since 2002.