Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who for a time was the frontrunner in the Republican gubernatorial primary, said that he is proud of the campaign he ran after he was soundly defeated by State Sen. Darren Bailey on Tuesday night.
Irvin, who criticized Gov. J.B. Pritzker for the crime reform bill his administration passed among other critiques, said that his campaign was “victorious” for the efforts it put forth to challenge him in November.
“In this race for governor, we may not have reached our goals tonight, but we are victorious for daring to step into the arena,” Irvin said. “We dared to step into the arena, and we’ve forced the issues we care about to the forefront in this November election.”
Irvin’s campaign was given a significant financial boost by billionaire Ken Griffin, who poured nearly $50 million into the race.
“I believe Richard Irvin would have been a terrific governor, and I am proud to have supported his campaign,” Griffin said. “His proven success in lowering taxes, addressing crime, creating jobs and taking on struggles facing Illinois families offered an encouraging and stark alternative to JB Pritzker’s agenda for Illinois.”
Griffin made headlines just before the election when he announced that the corporate headquarters for his Citadel hedge fund company would move to Miami, citing Illinois’ tax structure and increase crime in the city of Chicago.
Irvin, who put forward a tsunami of advertising in his bid to win the Republican nomination, fell out of favor in the closing weeks of the campaign, with Bailey blowing past him for an emphatic win on Tuesday.
Still, Irvin called on his supporters to rise up and to work to support Bailey in his bid to unseat Pritzker.
“If you’re willing to rise up and take back our state, let’s rise up,” he said. “I say you can get lower taxes, our income taxes, and you can get more property taxes if you are willing to rise up and take back our state.”