"Are you ready for a new direction? This is a victory for our
taxpayers who need to have a lower tax burden," Rauner said in a
speech to supporters, noting it was the first time in many years
Illinois would have a Democratic legislature and a Republican
But Quinn said he would not concede on Tuesday night, telling
supporters there were thousands of mail-in votes and other ballots
that have not been counted
With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Rauner had 50 percent of the
vote and Quinn had 47 percent, with Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm
taking 3 percent.
Rauner, 57, who spent millions of dollars of his own money in his
first bid for public office, said he wanted to make Illinois
friendlier to business by lowering income tax rates.
For many people attending an election night party for Rauner at the
Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago, the sagging Illinois economy was
high on their mind.
"It's the Land of Lincoln and the Land of Lincoln is going down the
tubes," said Neil Barrot of Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago. "I
don't think it's a beacon of America anymore. Policy and leadership
attracts jobs and there's virtually no leadership here."
In an ugly campaign with attack ads on both sides, Rauner portrayed
Quinn, 65, as a tax-and-spend liberal responsible for bringing the
state into the economic doldrums.
Quinn pushed through a pension reform package in 2013, which has
been challenged in court by unions. Illinois has the most
underfunded pension system of any U.S. state and the credit ratings
for its bonds are A3 and A-minus, the lowest among the states.
"We have a pension problem that is threatening to devalue every
asset in the state. It's not a small issue," said Rauner supporter
Brian Timpone of River Forest.
Quinn attacked Rauner, a venture capitalist with nine homes, saying
he was a heartless businessman who does not care about the issues
affecting average people.
[to top of second column]
President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and other
big-name Democrats stumped for Quinn, but he was weakened by state
budget woes and an approval rating of around 31 percent.
Glitches with ballots and dirty tricks slowed voting in some
Illinois precincts on Tuesday. Officials said more than 2,000
election workers in Chicago did not show up because they received
automated calls telling them they were not properly certified.
A few polling stations were still open past 9 p.m. after officials
ordered that everyone in line be allowed to vote.
Illinois, Obama's home state, has not elected a Republican governor
since George Ryan, who was later sent to jail on corruption charges,
left office in 2003.
Quinn's predecessor, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, is currently serving
a prison sentence for corruption.
(Additional reporting by Diane Bartz; Writin
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