News Local/State

Illinois’ US Senators Endorse Pritzker For Governor

JB Pritzker meeting with students.

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker meeting with University of Illinois students at a campaign event in Champaign last April.. Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

Illinois’ two Democratic US senators are taking sides in the primary for governor Friday. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are both endorsing businessman J.B. Pritzker.

According to a Pritzker campaign news release, Durbin said at a news conference Friday that Pritzker "will be a strong partner and an effective leader," and was the "clear choice" among the Democratic candidate for governor.

The same release quoted Duckworth as saying Pritzker was "ready to fight for working families" and also work to help veterans and for children's education.

the latest example of Illinois' Democratic establishment lining up behind Pritzker. He's already gotten nods from a variety of different politicians, party organizations, and labor unions.

Another gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Daniel Biss, says while he admires the senators, Democrats need to decide whether they want to be the "billionaire party," a reference to Pritzker’s wealth.

The other Democratic candidates for Illinois governor are former U of I Board President Chris Kennedy, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, Madison County Regional Education Supt. Bob Daiber, physician Robert Marshall and corrections officer Terry Getz. 

Meanwhile, it’s a different story on the Republican side. Four congressmen have declined to endorse incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner. He’s being challenged from the right by state Rep. Jeanne Ives.