5 take-aways from the Illinois governor primaries

  • Gov. Bruce Rauner cheers during his speech after his primary election victory Tuesday.

      Gov. Bruce Rauner cheers during his speech after his primary election victory Tuesday. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker speaks to supporters celebrating his primary election victory Tuesday.

      Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker speaks to supporters celebrating his primary election victory Tuesday. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/21/2018 10:01 AM

How sweet it is. No more political commercials, no more robocalls, no more vicious attack mailers lurking in your mailbox. Tuesday's gubernatorial throwdown is over and voters can expect a few days of quiet until it all starts again. Here are five take-aways from the primary.

Teflon exterior?

 

The Democratic primary for governor was a baptism by fire for newcomer J.B. Pritzker. It started with negative ads from Gov. Bruce Rauner showcased FBI tapes where Pritzker talked with disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich about political horse-trading. Then came accusations of him being cronies with Democratic machine types, getting an improper property tax break, and stashing money in offshore accounts, which Pritzker denied. Yet, nothing seemed to stick as voters reward the Hyatt hotel heir with 46 percent of the vote.

ZZZZZZZZZ

Who could sleep through a primary with conservative Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton accusing Rauner of embracing sanctuary cities, abortions and allowing men to use the women's bathroom in a controversial ad? But with Democrat Pritzker and moderate Rauner sharing similar views on some social issues, we could look forward to eight months of income tax policy debates.

Spoiler alert

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Add up state Sen. Daniel Biss' and businessman Chris Kennedy's tallies in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and it comes to more than 616,500. Compare that to Pritzker's 556,196 votes. Where would the Biss or Kennedy votes have gone if one of them had retreated? We'll never know.

The big dog

Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan wasn't running for any statewide offices but he loomed large over the campaign regardless. Democrats accused each other of cozying up to Madigan. Republicans did the same. Now, that's power.

Almost Cinderella story

Ives jumped into the campaign late and was defeated by a 48.4 percent to 51.6 percent margin, but Rauner Republicans are still exhaling after her concession speech. The race was too close for comfort, GOP insiders say, and the governor has his work cut out to mend fences with conservatives in the coming months.

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