Democrat J.B. Pritzker carried every precinct in Brookfield, North Riverside and Riverside on his way to a big win on Nov. 6 over Republican incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner, who was seeking a second term.
Pritzker won 61 percent of the vote in Brookfield, 60 percent of the vote in North Riverside and nearly 57 percent of the vote in Riverside.
Statewide, Pritzker received 54.2 percent of the vote to 39.2 percent for Rauner. Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann picked up 4.3 percent of the vote statewide, while Libertarian Party candidate Kash Jackson received 2.4 percent of the vote.
Pritzker benefited from a Democratic surge in the suburbs and by voters frustrated by a long budget standoff that marred Rauner’s first term.
The governor’s race shattered all spending records in an Illinois campaign. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, spent $171 million of his own money in his entirely self-funded campaign.
Rauner spent $70 million of his own money and also received $20 million from Ken Griffin, the founder and operator of the Citadel hedge fund.
“A Democratic billionaire is better than a Republican billionaire,” said Madelyn Hyland summing up why she voted for Pritzker at S.E. Gross Middle School in Brookfield.
Lauren Breter of Riverside also voted for Pritzker.
“I voted for him because I think it is time for a change in Illinois,” Breter said after voting at the Riverside Town Hall. “We’ve had Rauner for quite some time and I don’t think he has lived up to the expectations of what the voters expected of him or what he said he would do.”
Those voting for Rauner said that they said that he needed more time to carry out his agenda and wanted to give him another chance.
“In four years you cannot really accomplish what you want to,” said Hilga Silksi of Brookfield after voting for Rauner at Gross School. “Bruce has learned that the government runs differently than private business. I’d rather give him a chance. J.B. made way too many promises.”
Riverside resident Terry Heuel said that he, too, wanted to give Rauner more time.
“I was intrigued that someone would appear and change the direction of our politics in this state, and I’m disappointed that the change hasn’t gotten any further, but I think it’s a mistake to give up on the effort,” Heuel said after voting for Rauner at the Riverside Town Hall.
When Rauner ousted Democrat Pat Quinn four years ago, he ran much stronger in this area, winning 52 percent of the vote in Riverside Township which includes most of Riverside, almost all of North Riverside, and the Hollywood neighborhood of Brookfield.
Joe Tostel, of Riverside, said didn’t vote for anybody for governor.
“I didn’t vote for governor because I’m not happy with either of the candidates for the Democratic or Republican Party,” Tostel said. “And I’m not a libertarian and I’m not a conservative, so I just left it blank.”