Pritzker ties to Blagojevich go back to 1998, Illinois GOP says
In 1998, then Gov. Rod Blagojevich compared Hyatt Hotel heir J.B Pritzker, who is now vying to be governor, to the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, a recent Illinois Republican Party release said.
Blagojevich rendered his assessment some 20 years ago around the time Pritzker lost a primary battle for a congressional seat. A report in the Chicago Tribune cited in the GOP release said Pritzker, who received aid from Blagojevich’s father-in-law, finished third in that election.
“This was a good first start and I think J.B. has a tremendous future,” Blagojevich said in a May 1998 Tribune profile of Pritzker, as quoted in the GOP release. “Remember, Abraham Lincoln didn’t win his first election, and Mario Cuomo lost several races before he got elected. For J.B., this is only the beginning.”
Pritzker once made a hefty donation to Blagojevich, enough to earn him a spot in the future governor’s $25,000 Club, the release said.
Elsewhere in the release, GOP spokesman Aaron DeGroot called the former governor and Pritzker “bosom buddies.” Indeed their history was immortalized in a series of conversations the FBI captured on tape, transcripts of which were published in The Chicago Tribune.
According to Ballotpedia.org, Pritzker said in a Chicago Tribune interview he was running for governor to oppose incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner’s policies: “This campaign isn't about money. It's about values. It's about progressive values. That's what I've stood for my whole life. I grew up a progressive Democrat. I've fought for progressive Democratic values.”