News Local/State

Pritzker Makes Campaign For Governor Official

J.B. Pritzker talks with reporters

J.B. Pritzker talks with reporters Thursday after announcing he is running for governor at the Grand Crossing Gym on Chicago's South Side. Tony Arnold/WBEZ

Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker has made official his bid for Illinois governor. The Chicago Democrat tweeted Thursday that he was readying for "the big announcement" above a picture with his son holding a sign reading "J.B. for Governor." Pritzker's campaign confirmed the tweet ahead of a Thursday afternoon event in Chicago.

Pritzker is an investor and philanthropist whose candidacy raises the financial stakes in what's already expected to be an expensive race to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"You want to know why I’m running for governor?" he said. "Because everything we care about is under siege by Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner."

In response - the Illinois GOP emailed supporters, calling Pritzker a pawn of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

An heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, Pritzker was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as the third-wealthiest person in Illinois.

Other Democrats seeking the nomination in the March primary include state Sen. Daniel Biss, businessman and former University of Illinois Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy, and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar.