Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker picked up an endorsement Sunday from half a dozen current or former state legislators from the metro-east.
State Sens. James Clayborne, of Belleville, and Bill Haine, of Alton, along with state Reps. Jay Hoffman, of Swansea, LaToya Greenwood, of East St. Louis, and Katie Stuart, of Edwardsville, all Democrats, announced their backing of Pritzker. Another Democrat, Dan Beiser, of Alton, threw his support to Pritzker on the same day he announced he was stepping down as the state representative in 111th District, effective immediately.
The endorsement comes as many party members are rallying behind the Chicago billionaire investor, businessman and philanthropist Pritzker ahead of the March 20 primary.
Pritzker recently received the endorsement of U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats, and has been endorsed by the Illinois AFL-CIO, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, among other unions.
“I am honored to accept the endorsements of true leaders in metro-east who show up and fight for working families every day,” Pritzker said. “We face some enormous challenges in this state, but in traveling across Illinois, I see families ready to unite and move forward.
“From East St. Louis to Chicago, from union workers to small business owners, from students to seniors, we are ready to come together and defeat Bruce Rauner. We’re organizing to win in every county. We’re going to elect Democrats at every level. We’re going to come together as Illinoisans and get our state back on track.”
From East St. Louis to Chicago, from union workers to small business owners, from students to seniors, we are ready to come together and defeat Bruce Rauner. We’re organizing to win in every county. We’re going to elect Democrats at every level. We’re going to come together as Illinoisans and get our state back on track.
J.B. Pritzker, candidate for governor
Clayborne said he believes Pritzker can unite the Democratic party.
“As governor, he will create jobs throughout the state based on each region’s assets and strengthen our educational system based on the needs of each region of the state. J.B. will support quality access to health care for all of Illinois,” Clayborne said.
Clayborne’s endorsement comes after his campaign committee transferred $5,000 to state Sen. Daniel Biss’ campaign for governor in November. Clayborne, who is the majority leader in the Senate and is not seeking re-election in 2018, had more than $197,000 in his campaign account at the end of the third quarter, according to the State Board of Elections.
“I made my decision to endorse J.B. after assessing all of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates,” Clayborne said. “J.B. is the candidate to move Illinois forward.”
Haine, who also is not running for re-election, said Pritzker has a proven track record of thinking big and getting things done for working families.
“He’s the only candidate in this race with comprehensive policy plans to create jobs, build infrastructure, and invest in education throughout our state,” Haine said.
Greenwood pointed to Pritzker’s history as an investor and businessman.
“J.B. Pritzker’s record of creating good-paying jobs and fighting for investments in education make him the right choice for governor,” Greenwood said.
The other candidates in the Democratic race for governor are Chicago businessman Chris Kennedy; Madison County Regional Office of Education Superintendent Bob Daiber; Tio Hardiman of Calumet City; Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge, and Terry Getz, of Dupo.
The primary election winner goes onto the general election Nov. 6 against the winner of the Republican nomination.