CHICAGO (AP) — Voters in heavily Democratic Illinois went to the polls Tuesday for primary elections that set the November slate for governor, U.S. Senate, several congressional districts and legislative seats.
Here are five things to know about the election results:
1. RAUNER WINS GOP NOMINATION
Multimillionaire businessman Bruce Rauner was picked as the GOP nominee to take on incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat. Illinois Republicans see it as their best opportunity to reclaim the governor's mansion in President Barack Obama's home state after a decade of Democratic control.
2. FIRST RUN FOR OFFICE
Rauner, a venture capitalist from the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, says he emulates the Republican governorships of Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Indiana's Mitch Daniels. He defeated three veteran lawmakers in his first run for public office.
3. UNION OPPOSITION
State employee unions had mobilized to thwart Rauner, who vows to diminish the strength of what he calls government "union bosses." The two sides are expected to escalate those attacks in the months ahead.
4. CLOSER THAN THOUGHT
The GOP governor's primary was far closer than predicted. Rauner defeated state Sen. Kirk Dillard by only a narrow margin. Opinion polls had earlier showed him with a far more substantial lead after he spent $6 million of his own money on TV ads across the state.
5. CHALLENGING DURBIN
Republican voters chose a dairy and ice cream magnate, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, to challenge Dick Durbin, the U.S. Senate's powerful No. 2 Democrat, in November. Oberweis defeated a little-known fellow businessman Doug Truax.