CHICAGO (CBS) — A number of African-American and Latino aldermen and other present and former officials turned out for J.B. Pritzker’s Gubernatorial Campaign Kickoff. They say the democratic billionaire is also close to everyday people.
Among Aldermen at Grand Crossing Park to cheer J.B. Pritzker’s announcement were Pat Dowell, Michelle Harris, George Cardenas and Walter Burnett who said he’s known Pritzker for 30 years, from when they were young democrats. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
“You know, we got along very well. We both helped to motivate young people to get involved in government and in politics,” Burnett said. “A lot of those folks have turned out to be state senators, state reps, and a lot of other things, and aldermen and committee men.”
Burnett said the Pritzker family fortune hasn’t isolated J.B. from knowing the plight of the less fortunate or hard work.
“He was down on the ground with us regular folks when we were out there knocking on doors for the democratic party,” Burnett said. “J.B. was there too and his wife was there also – who I met before he even married her. He knows how to feel people.”
And Pritzker was expressing some of those feelings on the South Side. Pritzker announced his campaign kickoff in Alderman Michelle Harris’ South Side ward, and Harris said the enthusiastic turnout was well earned.
“Out of every candidate, his concepts, his ideas and his vision for this state really connects with the African American community,” Harris said.
Harris admits another major fact is the fact that Pritzker is worth billions and has the money to run against wealthy incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
“As you talk about all the support, it would take a boatload of money to raise a boatload of money. You’ll be spending most of your days as a candidate doing surely nothing but fundraising,” Harris said. “So I think J.B. is the candidate who can come in, along with somebody else’s help and the people’s help, put together a great kind of campaign and be okay.”
Some democratic party leaders seem to like that too, but it is early.