There have been more J.B. Pritzker for governor trial balloons flying over Chicago this week than last week’s migrating Sandhill Cranes.
Prtizker is a member of the billionaire family which includes Penny Pritzker. Penny moved from the unelected Chicago school board after voting to shut down 50 neighborhood schools to Obama’s cabinet as Commerce Secretary.
Crain’s Greg Hinz featured J.B.’s candidacy last week, along with another fortunate son, Christopher Kennedy.
It seems that Governor Rauner is promoting the Pritzker choice by targeting him with some robocalls.
The attack was unprecedented for two reasons: The next election is nearly two years away. And Pritzker, who is largely unknown outside Chicago business and political circles, is only considering a run for governor and isn’t a candidate at this point.
The robocall stands as an early signal from Rauner as to what awaits those who might challenge his re-election bid. But it’s also an acknowledgment that Rauner’s team at this stage views Pritkzer, a wealthy entrepreneur and investor, as a top threat. Pritkzer, listed at No. 190 on Forbes’ annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans with a net worth of $3.4 billion, is one of the few in Illinois who could self-fund a campaign and outspend Rauner.
Of course it is unprecedented and I’m not fooled.
There is nobody Rauner would love as his Democratic opponent more than a billionaire Democratic Party centrist whose connections make him look like a Goldman Sach’s luncheon speaker.
Sound familiar? That is why Rauner is promoting him as his likely opponent. J.B. is HRC redux.
The Pritzkers are no friends of Illinois working families. They battled the union at their Hyatt Hotel chain for years.
Half of Illinois Democratic voters picked Progressive Bernie Sanders to be their party’s choice for the presidential nominee.
There is a strong base for a working families’ candidate to beat Rauner in two years.
Who will step up?