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Blagojevich elected Illinois governor

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (CNN) -- Three-term Rep. Rod Blagojevich defeated state Attorney General Jim Ryan Tuesday in his bid to become Illinois' first Democratic governor since January 1977, CNN projects.

Ryan had been plagued throughout the campaign by comparisons to unpopular incumbent, George Ryan, who chose not to seek re-election. The two men are not related and Jim Ryan went to great lengths to dispel comparisons, even saying the former "ran the worst administration in the history of Illinois."

Blagojevich touted his record on Capitol Hill, saying in a debate that "Illinois is mired in corruption, and insiders like Jim look the other way." He led by high single digits in recent polls.

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