Republican candidate Bruce Rauner emerged the victor of the race for governor of Illinois Tuesday night, narrowly defeating the Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn in one of the most closely watched gubernatorial races in the country.
NBC Chicago and The Associated Press called the race for Rauner shortly before 10:30 p.m. local time.
This will be Rauner's first time holding public office. Prior to his gubernatorial run, Rauner built his wealth in the world of private equity and investments. He previously served as an advisor to Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Throughout the race, Rauner hammered Quinn as a "failure" and a career politician, while Quinn painted his rival as an out-of-touch millionaire.
The candidates ran virtually neck-and-neck since the summertime, with combined fundraising that approached a staggering $100 million. Rauner sunk at least $26 million of his own money into his campaign and outraised Quinn more than two to one, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Among the most pressing issues that Rauner will contend with over the next four years is Illinois' staggering, worst-in-the-nation public pension debt.
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