CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday easily won the Democratic nomination for governor.
Pritzker defeated a much lesser-known rival, Beverly Miles, as the billionaire business owner seeks his second term in office.
Pritzker will face the winner of a six-candidate Republican field. He has spent millions trying to get the rival he wants and increase his already sizable advantage in the state this fall. Farmer and conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Bailey raised his statewide profile during the pandemic by opposing Pritzker’s COVID-19 measures. He sued Pritzker over a stay-at-home order the governor issued, and was escorted off the floor of the Legislature for refusing to wear a mask.
Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, and the Democratic Governors Association have spent heavily on advertising to help Bailey win the GOP primary, including with ads noting he is “100% pro-life.” While those messages have raised Bailey’s standing with Republican voters, they are likely to hurt him in a general election in a place where Democrats control all statewide offices and voters twice rejected Trump by double digits.