As a newcomer to Illinois politics, wealthy venture capitalist Bruce Rauner beat out three veteran lawmakers for the Republican nomination in Tuesday's gubernatorial primary election.
Rauner won with 41 percent of the vote in a tight race against state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who had 37 percent of the vote with 94 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial election results. Rauner also beat state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sen. Bill Brady, who both conceded defeat.
Shortly after polls closed, Rutherford gave a statement saying he'd return to Illinois politics in a different role. Early returns showed Brady far behind Rauner and Dillard.
Rauner, who was a lesser-known candidate before entering the race, spent more than $14 million on his campaign, including about $6 million of his own money, according to the Associated Press.
Rauner will face off against Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who – in his bid for a second full term in office – won the Democratic nomination with 77 percent of the vote, topping sole challenger Tio Hardiman, an activist who put up little challenge.
Quinn took office in 2009 after the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich and defeated Brady – who won the GOP nomination – in the 2010 election.
Democrats have held the governor's seat since 2003, and Rauner will have the opportunity to unseat Quinn in November.