ILLINOIS (WMBD) — After years of election denial regarding the 2020 presidential election, a challenge has been raised here in Illinois.

It’s primetime in this year’s midterm elections. Candidates are making their final push to get elected, and campaigns are digging up any dirt they can on their opponents.

Tuesday morning, Gov. JB Pritzker’s (D-IL) campaign issued a challenge to Republican challenger Darren Bailey (R-IL) to publicly accept election results, win or lose.

The campaign tied Bailey to Donald Trump, who has still not accepted the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

“We sent this letter to Senator Bailey, because he has been noncommittal over the last year about accepting the results of the election and he has some really questionable associations with Jan. 6 insurrectionists and folks who were at the capitol at that day,” said Natalie Edelstein, JB For Governor’s Communications Director.

Darren Bailey’s answer was straightforward. His campaign sent WMBD the statement below.

“Darren’s been clear he will accept the outcome of the election. J.B. hasn’t been clear about how he will fix the SAFE-T Act and has made life unaffordable for working families. That’s why Darren Bailey will win. The real question is, will J.B. pledge not to remove the toilets from the Governor’s mansion once he loses?”

Darren Bailey Campaign

We asked the Governor’s campaign if he would accept the results, win or lose, as well.

“Governor Pritzker, our campaign manager, and everyone from our staff is prepared to accept the results of the election on Nov. 8,” Edelstein said.

So, is this an election gimmick? Or is it a legitimate question?

“It can be both a political jab and a real question,” said Illinois State University Associate Professor of Political Science Meghan Leonard.

Leonard tells WMBD’s Matt Sheehan that Bailey’s blunt answer could benefit him in the election.

“By Senator Bailey coming out and saying ‘I will accept the election results, that starts to build the trust,” Leonard said.

Leonard said while there aren’t any legal repercussions for not accepting the election results, it would still be problematic for democracy.

“There is absolutely no reason for anybody in Illinois not to trust the election results next week,” Leonard said.