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‘I love the job that I have’: Pritzker addresses speculation about presidential run

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions about the possibility of a presidential run on June...
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions about the possibility of a presidential run on June 15, 2022.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - Gov. J.B. Pritzker is heading to the east coast this weekend for several events to support Democrats. While he is running for re-election this year, there is speculation that the governor is aiming for the White House in 2024.

Although, Pritzker laughed and smiled when a reporter asked him if he is considering a run for president.

“I can’t tell you anything other than I love the job that I have,” Pritzker said. “It’s why I’m running for re-election as governor of our state and I intend to continue to do a good job for the people of the state for the next four years.”

The governor also explained that he will be speaking at events to help elect Democratic governors in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. This is a top priority for Pritzker with abortion rights on the line this summer if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

“The governors are the ones who are going to have the power to make sure that we preserve reproductive rights for women and broadly rights that are going to be taken away as a result of their overturning of the right to privacy,” Pritzker said.

He stressed that the country needs governors who will stand up for women, the LGBTQ community, and everyone’s individual rights.

Pritzker will also be in Washington DC Friday with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urging Democratic leaders to pick the Windy City to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

The trip comes less than two weeks before the June 28 primary election. Republican candidates for governor were quick to criticize Pritzker’s plans to head out of state campaigning for others. The current frontrunner, Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia), said Pritzker doesn’t care about struggling Illinois families. The downstate Republican claimed Pritzker cares about lifting his national profile and pushing an extreme agenda.

“Working families and taxpayers deserve better,” Bailey tweeted. “We need a governor focused on Illinois and lifting up our families and communities.”

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign also took a hit at Pritzker’s east coast trip. The campaign said Pritzker is leaving “damage he’s already done in Illinois.” They specifically noted that the Democratic governor is meddling in the GOP gubernatorial primary by spending billions of dollars in ads against Irvin. The campaign frequently says Pritzker is supporting Bailey’s run for the governor’s mansion through his own ads and work with the Democratic Governors Association.

“The quickest way to run for President is to pick the easiest person to beat in your re-election for Governor,” said Irvin’s campaign spokesperson Eleni Demertzis. “Presidential hopeful Pritzker knows a vote for Irvin is a vote for change in Illinois and a vote for Bailey is a vote for his re-election as governor and beyond.”

Meanwhile, Jesse Sullivan said the people of Illinois are being left behind while Pritzker teases a presidential campaign in New Hampshire. He stressed that Caterpillar is leaving Illinois under Pritzker’s watch.

“Businesses are leaving for well-run states like Texas and Florida, and families are leaving to escape the Democrats’ sky-high taxes and corruption,” Sullivan said.

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