Sixty–five million dollars later, Bruce Rauner is now the governor-elect for the state of Illinois.
And things are about to get interesting.
Rauner, who ran a campaign that captured the hearts and minds of people frustrated with the state’s current affairs, spent $26 million of his own billion dollar fortune in hopes of following through on his promise to shake up Springfield and rid it of Chicago-style politics (defined as cronyism, union leaning, backroom dealing) forever. An aggressive campaign that hit hard at the Democratic Party, saying that Democrats took black voters for granted. convinced some leaders in the black community to encourage their followers to try something different. From the campaign results, we can see that a large enough number of people decided to do just that.
Pat Quinn, whose campaign raised about $31.4 million, primarily from unions and individual contributions, was not able to escape the dark cloud hanging over a government deep in debt and buried in voter cynicism. For his part, Quinn has yet to concede the race, hoping that the delayed counting of early votes, mail-in votes, and provisional votes will somehow make up the 180,000 vote margin that currently separates him from Rauner.
If the tally sticks, and Rauner is indeed sworn into office in January, he will be forced to replace his mostly vague campaign pitch lines with intentional and specific plans for governance. He promises to cut government spending, create jobs, and create a new day in Illinois politics. How that works out for the people in the state of Illinois will be an “interesting” thing to follow.