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Illinois GOP Gov. Rauner in close primary race, Pritzker wins Democratic nomination

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Illinois GOP Gov. Rauner in close primary race, Pritzker wins Democratic nomination

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was locked in a tight Republican primary battle with an insurgent state legislator Tuesday evening, while businessman J.B. Pritzker was projected to cruise to victory in the Democratic contest.

With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Rauner led state Rep. Jeanne Ives by 52 percent to 48 percent. Pritzker won 46 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary to best five other candidates, including State Sen. Daniel Biss (26 percent) and developer Chris Kennedy (24 percent), a son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

If Rauner holds off Ives in the primary, the ensuing general election campaign against Pritzker is expected to be the most expensive in U.S. history. Both men have already combined to spend more than $120 million out of their own pockets so far on the contest.

Rauner, a former venture capitalist, took advantage of the 2014 GOP wave to pull off a surprising gubernatorial victory in a state otherwise dominated by Democrats. He promised to "shake up" Springfield with a pro-business agenda that included lowering property taxes and instituting term limits on officeholders. But his ongoing spat with powerful state House Speaker Michael Madigan and other legislative Democrats left the state without a budget for two years while billions of dollars of debt piled up.



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