Governor Rod Blagojevich muscled past Republican Hudy Baar Topinka to win a second term.
The democrat won voters over by promising solutions to the state's social problems and by flooding the airwaves with ads portraying Topinka as clueless and corrupt.
Topinka, with far less money for ads, failed in her efforts to get voters to focus on a federal investigation of corruption in the Blagojevich Administration.
With more than 2,800 of Illinois' 11,692 precincts counted in unofficial returns, Blagojevich had 56.8 percent to 33.6 percent for Topinka. Green Party candidate Rich Whitney had 9.6 percent.
Blagojevich becomes the first democrat to win back-to-back terms as Illinois governor since Otto Kerner in 1964.