Quinn loses race to Rauner

By Features Editor

After a tight gubernatorial race, incumbent Pat Quinn said he didn’t “believe in throwing in the towel” to a woefully optimistic crowd of his supporters Nov. 4 at Hotel Allegro, 171 W. Randolph St.

Quinn, a Democrat, lost the race to Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, who was elected the 42nd governor of Illinois with a handy five-point lead.

Quinn conceded the race Nov. 6, saying “it’s clear that we do not have enough votes to win the election.”

The jubilant, Gatsby-esque party in a small, packed room came to a screeching halt as the numbers rolled in. The clinking of tall glasses petered out and the free-flowing taps ran dry. The deafening roar of conversation quieted to gasps and whispers. James Brown playing on the stereo sounded grotesquely out of place. Quinn took the stage, still hopeful.

“Thank everyone who has been so devoted to our campaign,” Quinn said amid the restless crowd. “We believe in democracy. We believe in making sure when you vote in an election, every vote counts. There’s a lot of votes still to be counted.”

The race’s major focal point has been on the vicious political commercials lobbed with vitriol from both sides. Quinn criticized Rauner, a venture capitalist, for self-funding his campaign from deep pockets and making anti-union utterances, while Rauner criticized Quinn for political cronyism and nepotistic hiring practices in Springfield.

Quinn said that he is pleased that Illinois voted to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, which was central to his campaign.

“I really look forward to working with the legislator in the time I have left as governor to get that job done,” Quinn said.

Quinn, 65, born in Hinsdale, Illinois, has been in public service since 1982. He was the state treasurer and then became lieutenant governor alongside deposed former governor Rod Blagojevich before he was elected the 41st governor of Illinois in 2009.

It is no surprise that Quinn held off on conceding defeat. In 1998, he was running for lieutenant governor against Mary Kearns in the Democratic Primary and held out hope for five weeks.