CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker won an early and easy victory for his party's nomination for a second term in office Tuesday evening.
West Side nurse and activist Beverly Miles, who is also a military veteran, challenged Pritzker for the Democratic nomination, but he still cruised to victory with the Associated Press calling the race for him less than an hour after polls closed.
The governor and his wife MK cast their votes Tuesday morning at a polling place on the city's North Side, not far from their Gold Coast home.
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For months, instead of focusing on his lone primary challenger, Pritzker has had his eye on the Republican primary. He, along with the Democratic Governors Association, has spent millions of dollars on campaign ads to raise the profile of State Senator Darren Bailey.
The governor is betting that Bailey, a staunch conservative, will be a less formidable November opponent than a more moderate Republican.
Pritzker spent the first eight minutes of his speech Tuesday night touting accomplishments from the past four years, including raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, his infrastructure plan, and legalization of recreational marijuana.
He then turned Bailey, blasting his endorsement by former president Donald Trump.
Pritzker is already painting his general election candidacy as a fight against extreme ideology.
"If people show up and vote and make sure to vote for pro-choice, pro-voting rights, pro-civil rights Democrats, then we can finally, finally secure people's future and especially here in the state of Illinois," the governor said.
The governor is believed to have tens of millions of dollars in campaign cash on hand, but State Senator Bailey is coming out of the primary with a head of steam. The challenge for Democrats is to match the energy on their side that is being seen among conservative voters.
Earlier in the day, Pritzker greeted diners at Manny's Deli in the South Loop, where he was joined by some other statewide Democratic candidates.