By Lulu Anjanette
Darren Bailey concedes the race to JB Pritzker. (Photo/Lulu Anjanette)
SPRINGFIELD — Darren Bailey supporters from all over Illinois gathered at Crowne Plaza Springfield Convention Center for his election party early Tuesday night, anxiously anticipating for the gubernatorial election results to come.
At 7 p.m., only minutes before the opening of the event, The Associated Press called the race for Democratic incumbent JB Pritzker. The mood of Bailey supporters turned sour as they expect the worst outcome for the rest of the night, yet they still had a glimmer of hope as they waited for their candidate to appear. And they waited … and waited
Leading up to the final count of the votes, supporters were still hopeful that the full count would see Bailey victorious. But as the night went on, their hopes started to dissappear as Pritzker widened his lead. With 79% of the votes counted, Pritzker had 55 percent to Bailey’s 42.2 percent.
After three hours of waiting, Bailey finally made his appearance at his election night party at 10:02 p.m. and conceded the race to Pritzker.
“I just spoke to Governor Pritzker and congratulated him on his win tonight,” Bailey said. “The challenges are many, but I’m going to do what I always have done, what Americans always have done. I’m going to roll up my sleeves and go back to work.”
There is a great number of @DarrenBaileyIL supporters here at Springfield, IL. Attendees are seen setting up their own chairs due to the lack of seating #uicdigital pic.twitter.com/wfNs723x5n
— Lulu Anjanette (@lanjan2_lulu) November 9, 2022
Bailey spoke to his supporters in Springfield, thanking them and saying he will never stop fighting for Illinois.
“I may not be going to Springfield as your next governor, but I will never stop fighting for you,” Bailey said. “My priorities will continue to be the things that unite us: protecting our freedoms, bringing jobs to our state, and safety to our streets. Republicans need to be the loyal opposition in Springfield. Loyal to our state, loyal to our country, loyal to our constitution, but in opposition to the radical policies of the Democrats.”
He encouraged his supporters to work together to find solutions for all the people of Illinois.
“Illinois, we can be better,” Bailey said. “Illinois must be better, our leaders must be better.”
Bailey also said Republicans may have lost this race at a statewide level, but warned Pritzker he needs to do better.
“JB Pritzker, you need to be better. You need to be better for Illinois,” Bailey said. “You need to be better for our children and you need to be better for our grandchildren.”
Bailey ended the night with a mini meet-and-greet session, personally thanking everyone for their support and for attending his party.
Bailey meets with supporters after a long night in Springfield.