There were few surprises election night as results were reported across the Land of Lincoln, which saw Democrat J.B. Pritzker handily defeat Republican incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner.
More than 640,000 votes separated the two in what was a landslide victory for the billionaire Pritzker, who claimed 54 percent of the statewide vote. Rauner was done in by four years of gridlock, an unwillingness to compromise on the budget stalemate and perceived mismanagement of the Legionella outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
That, coupled with a suburban electorate eager to turn out to voice its displeasure with President Donald Trump, led to a 15-point blowout for Pritzker, a Democratic sweep of statewide offices and gains in both chambers of the General Assembly. The so-called Blue Wave might not have materialized across the country in the manner some had predicted, but in Illinois, it was thunderous.
That wasn’t so across West-Central Illinois, however. In Adams County, Rauner took nearly 66 percent of the vote, down 10 points from his 2014 win, but still an impressive local haul. Republican candidates up and down the ticket here fared well, cementing local GOP dominance. No statewide Democratic candidate took any of Adams, Brown, Hancock or Pike counties. Only incumbent Secretary of State Jesse White even came close.
Again, there were few surprises.
Plans now are being laid for what comes next.
Simply put, if Pritzker fails, Illinois fails. And if Illinois fails, we all fail. We do not want that to happen.
Looking back at the campaign, we are heartened by many of the things we saw from Pritzker.
While some decried the lack of details to many of Pritzker’s proposals, we were encouraged by his notion the problems facing the state will take multifaceted solutions. He repeatedly said he looks forward to negotiations and compromise to find a path forward for the state. There will be no simple solutions, he told us.
We applaud Rauner, who in his concession speech Tuesday night called on the state to come together.
In claiming victory, Pritzker spoke of bridging divides.
It’s our profound hope Illinoisans of all political stripes remember this and work to move this great state forward and rise once again to meet the challenges before us.
“Ladies and gentleman, rise we will,” Pritzker promised on election night.
Let’s all pray that we do.
The Quincy Herald-Whig