Gov. Pat Quinn announced his official defeat to Republican candidate Bruce Rauner at the James R. Thompson Center Wednesday while protesters filled the plaza wearing white masks and holding signs while calling for a change in the way government is being run.
“Your vote didn’t matter,” the crowd cheered, led by a woman with a megaphone. The group of about 30 people gathered in front of the Thompson Center after the press conference with signs that said, “Revolution is needed.”
Quinn said there were many neighborhoods in Illinois that faced problems at the polls including Bronzeville and Ravenswood. At the close of Tuesday night Quinn said there were still some votes to be counted, but not enough to earn him another term.
Quinn thanked the many people from all over Illinois who waited to cast their vote.”We should always respect those who waited, persevered to cast their ballot,” Quinn said.
This race, said to be one of the most expensive races in Illinois politics, ended with Rauner earning 51 percent of the vote to Quinn’s 46 percent. Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm earned 3 percent of the vote, 2 percent short of what was needed to automatically earn a spot on the ballot in the next statewide election.
“Now the votes have been counted…but it is clear we do not have enough votes to win the election and therefore we respect the results, we respect what the voters did yesterday,” Quinn said.
Quinn said he was very pleased to see that Illinois voters favored raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour by Jan. 1, which he pledged to continue working toward in the little time he has left as governor.
“Our minimum wage is $8.25 an hour; it’s not enough for a mom or dad or anyone to raise a family,” Quinn said.
Quinn left the podium immediately after speaking, taking no questions from reporters. Many people leaving Quinn’s press conference had tears in their eyes, hugging one another.