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Pritzker’s full pivot- POLITICO



Happy Thursday, Illinois. How did it become the last day of June already?

Gov. JB Pritzker was already fired up for his reelection campaign. The Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade has given him new purpose.

And he thinks how the justices went about reversing nearly 50 years of precedent might help him connect with Republican women, too.

“This isn’t just about reproductive rights. They’ve taken away the right to privacy. The next thing they’ll go after is your right to birth control, your right to marry who you love,” Pritzker told Playbook in an interview Wednesday. And, he said, new legislation and state Supreme Court races will be pivotal in keeping Illinois a haven for abortion rights.

Dystopian quote: “I’m deeply concerned about where the [U.S.] Supreme Court is taking us — it’s down a terrible, sinister rabbit hole and we need to make sure in Illinois that we protect people,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, who also sat down for the interview, said voters who generally support Republican policies may think differently when it comes to personal rights.

“We may not permanently change their statusas Republicans,” Pritzker said. “But in a general election, will they look at their nominee and say, ‘What has the Republican Party done? We can’t vote for that.’ And would they consider voting for Juliana and me? I think so.”

In voting “for that” — Republican nominee for governor Darren Bailey, who Stratton called, “A [Donald] Trump-supported right-winged extremist who wants to ban abortion even in the case of rape and incest. That is as far right as you can go.”

Bailey’s campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Watch for a legislative special session: The governor is talking to leaders in the General Assembly about a bill that would expand who can perform abortions.

“Illinois doesn’t allow nurse practitioners to perform procedures but in many other states they do. So if the Legislature passes that, I would sign it,” Pritzker said, explaining it’s necessary as more out-of-state patients come to Illinois seeking abortions.

More legislation in January: Pritzker said he’s seen numerous proposals, including creating a constitutional amendment to further enshrine abortion rights in Illinois. It’s something he supports.

Supreme issue: Pritzker pointed to the two state Supreme Court races in the general election as being important and plans to throw his support into those as well.

— Speaking of Supremes… Lake County judge, former sheriff lead in race to succeed Justice (and former Chicago Bear) Bob Thomas on state Supreme Court, by Sun-Times’ David Struett.

Pritzker and GOP nominee Darren Bailey come out swinging after primary election wins: The candidates represent “the opposites of a chasmic political ideological divide,” writes Tribune’s Rick Pearson.

‘Certainly possible’: Illinois governor says Biden could face primary challenge: “While Pritzker sidestepped questions about Biden’s economic performance, his primary comments nonetheless added fuel to questions about the president’s viability at a time when there’s open discussion about whether he will — or should,” via NBC News’ Natasha Korecki.

One of the biggest stories out of Tuesday’s primary is Hoan Huynh (pronounced Hahn Win) beating the Democratic establishment in the highly contested 13th District Democratic House race.

Huynh knocked on doors of “every street” in his district, located on Chicago’s North Side, he told Playbook. In the past month, Huynh estimates he hit 7,500 doors. That’s about 250 doors a day, “every day until 9 p.m.”

Five Democratic candidates sought the seat currently held by House Majority Leader Greg Harris, who is retiring. One candidate, Eileen Dordek, was endorsed by Gov. JB Pritzker and at least 13 other Democratic elected officials from across the state. She had $264,000 on hand by election day, including $5,000 from Pritzker.

Huynh had one elected leader in his corner: state Rep. Theresa Mah, who gave his campaign $57,000 to help get his message out.

And it’s a powerful one. Huynh and his family were refugees from Vietnam. His dad served in the South Vietnamese military during the war and was sent to a prison camp for five years just before Huynh was born. The family eventually received political asylum in the United States and lived briefly in Chicago.

But the weather was too much of a shock for his mom, so the Huynhs moved to California. Huynh grew up there before going on to Yale and Harvard, where he was influenced by professors with Chicago roots.

He moved back to Chicago in 2017 and has worked at the nonprofit Chicago Beyond and as a community organizer.

“I’m not surprised we won because we ran the best ground game and had the grassroots organization of people from the district,” Huynh said, adding he’ll keep knocking on doors leading up to the general election where he’ll face Republican Alper Turan. “I want to keep listening to our neighbors and learn about their needs,” Huynhs said.

If he wins in November, Huynh would be the first Vietnamese American to serve in public office in Illinois.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

At the James R. Thompson Center at 9 a.m. to kick off a tax relief and rebate program to support Illinois working families… At Carpenters Local 270 in Springfield at 6 p.m. to kick off the general election campaign.

No official public events.

No official public events.

Pritzker’s pick for secretary of state lost, so did those who received his endorsement for a few state House races. But those mean little compared to his interest in the Democratic State Central Committee, where he spent $350,000 to help elect new names to the organization that runs the Illinois Democratic Party.

So far (because mail-in ballots are still trickling in), about half of the candidates he endorsed have won.

Races where his candidates won or are winning: 5th District candidates Margaret Croke and John Cullerton, 6th District candidate Patrick Hynes, and 17th District’s Maurice West.

Races where Pritzker’s trailing or lost: Hal Sloan is losing to Tom Maillard in the 10th District; Natalie Manley is losing to Christine Benson in the 14th; Liz Brown-Reeves conceded to Katherine Daniels in the 15th; and Jehan Gordon Booth is trailing Pamela Davidson in the 17th.

There’s a virtual dead heat in the 10th District, where Lauren Beth Gash, a former state rep, was challenged by outgoing state Sen. Melinda Bush, who Pritzker endorsed.

Once the roster is set, the newly elected committee members will meet later this summer to conduct officer elections — which will determine whether Congresswoman Robin Kelly remains at the helm.

Crystal-balling: Pritzker is expected to put up a challenge to Kelly, who wasn’t his first choice as party leader when she was elected last year. But he needs a majority on the central committee to do that.

Illinois GOP takes big right turn with primary victories: “A ballot that’s top-heavy with people viewed as extremists won’t play well in suburban areas, especially among suburban women,” former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar said in an interview with your Playbook host. “We have to start identifying who can win a primary and a general. Right now, that looks like two different kinds of people.”

… Jeanne Ives on what it all means: “Illinois Republicans want somebody who has exhibited courage to stand up to the system and the bureaucrats.” And Rep. Mary Miller’s victory over Rep. Rodney Davis, simply, shows “Trump’s endorsement means something.”

— SCOOP | Bailey pledges to bring ‘common sense solutions to the table’ — but not copies of his income tax returns: “The tradition of Illinois gubernatorial nominees releasing their tax returns dates back to 1976, at least. But Bailey told the Sun-Times, ‘Right now, I see absolutely no reason in doing that,’” reports Tina Sfondeles. There was another well-known Republican who also declined to share his tax returns.

— The Washington Post calls out Illinois: “Democrats must stop promoting Republican extremists

— Watch for national attention | Democrat Eric Sorensen, Republican Esther Joy King win IL-17 primaries, via Rockford Register-Star’s Jeff Kolkey. This seat, now held by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, was redrawn to give Democrats an edge. They want to make sure it stays in their hands.

After Lauf wins IL-11 GOP bid to face Foster, Democrat group calls her ‘extreme MAGA,’ by Daily Herald’s Russell Lissau

— Progressives’ primary wins.Lilian Jimenez won the Democratic nomination in the 4th state House District with 80 percent of the vote against two other Democrats…. Norma Hernandez became the first-ever Latina to represent the 77th District in the state House.Anthony Joel Quezada won the 8th District Cook County Board seat. In Democratic Committee races, Omar Aquino defeated Gil Villegas, and Delia Ramirez bested Iris Martinez. And of course, Ramirez won the Democratic nomination to the newly created 3rd Congressional seat. Congressman Chuy Garcia, who backed Ramirez and Hernandez, praised the wins as “a glimmer of hope for the country” at a time when “women’s rights are under unprecedented assault and immigrants continue to be relegated to the shadows.”

What did $50 million buy Ken Griffin in Illinois’ primary? Not much, by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos

— Board of Review upheaval: George Cardenas bests Tammy Wendt, and Michael Cabonargi is trailing against Samantha Steeleby Tribune’s Alice Yin

Winners and losers of the 2022 Cook County judicial primary election: Howard Brookins and Christopher Taliaferro, both Chicago aldermen, lost their bids for judicial seats on Tuesday. So did former Cook County commissioner John Fritchey. Injustice Watch’s Maya Dukmasova and Jonah Newman report.

House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch’s wife among clout-heavy winners in primary judge races: “ShawnTe Raines-Welch topped three opponents in the Democratic primary race for judge in a suburban judicial district,” by Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth.

State creates database for police to quickly sort and search information on illegal guns: “The Crime Gun Connect platform, available to law enforcement only, contains some 100,000 federal gun trace records from 200 Illinois police agencies,” by Tribune’s Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner.

Pritzker eyeing expansion of two big school-aid programs: “The governor wants more for early-childhood education and, eventually, free college for students from families below median income,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.

Why Illinois is suspending the grocery tax and delaying a gas tax increase on Friday, by State Journal-Register’s Zach Roth

LPAC, an organization that supports LGBTQ+ female candidates running for office, has endorsed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in her reelection bid.

Lightfoot vows to expand paid parental leave for city workers, conduct ‘pay equity’ audit: “Chicago’s version of the ‘she-cession’ was evident in the disproportionate job losses: there were 10,957 fewer men in the 2020 workforce compared to the year before the pandemic — but there were 36,092 fewer women,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Chicago’s minimum wage is increasing July 1. Here’s what to know, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin

Google in Talks To Buy Chicago’s Thompson Center, by CoStar’s Ryan Ori

With another son of Rev. Jesse Jackson likely headed to Congress, a storied and complicated political dynasty adds a new chapter, by Tribune’s John Byrne and William Lee

Amid recent traffic deaths, concrete-protected bike lanes are coming to some Chicago neighborhoods, by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat

Young people dream up a safer Chicago: “After Mayor Lori Lightfoot expanded the citywide curfew in response to a shooting, teenagers spoke about Chicago’s gun violence crisis and their relationship to the city,” by The Trace’s Justin Agrelo.

…Opinion: Don’t scapegoat young people for the rise in gun violence, by The Trace’s David Muhammad.

Standard Club artwork headed for Art Institute: “Edgar Miller’s Great Chicago Fire panels will go on loan and stay there if the club fails to find a new home,” by Crain’s Steven Strahler.

Firefighters raise L train car to rescue man underneath, by Sun-Times’ David Struett

Could site of a proposed Bears stadium in Arlington Heights also include a minor-league baseball complex? Documents show “the team deposited $125,000 with the village for studies of the stadium proposal, and they also included a former baseball executive’s proposal to add a minor league baseball complex to the site,” writes Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau looks to November and challenging Sean Casten in new IL-06 District, by By Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan and Tribune’s John Keilman

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in federal court in New York after judge says he left ‘a trail of broken lives’: “The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly for crimes including racketeering means Kelly will be in custody for more than another two decades, depending on how his time served is calculated,” by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner.

… Statement from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who encouraged victims to come forward: “I applaud the courageous survivors for speaking up and making sure no other person will become his victim ever again. Now, let us remember to equally focus on all victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence who also deserve justice and protection.”

We asked when you’ve thrown something in anger: “Only words and side eyes,” wrote Patricia Ann Watson. It’s not something readers want to admit.

What’s more fun and why — campaigning in a primary or general election? Email [email protected]

Republicans who backed Trump Jan. 6 probe face fierce backlash at the polls, by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick

What Dems can — and might — do in Congress to fight the end of Roe, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine and Sarah Ferris

Liz Cheney: ‘Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,by POLITICO’s Myah Ward

Andrew Giuliani had the name ID and his famous father. He just didn’t have the votes, by POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold

1955 warrant in Emmett Till case found, family seeks arrest, via The Associated Press

Sun-Times, WBEZ lease space in Old Post Office: “The arrangement, in an acknowledgement of continued hybrid work, marks a downsizing from the paper’s home on the Near West Side,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

— Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez will retire at the end of June. Perez has served seven-plus years in the job and more than 37 years in the public safety field. Before his career in the fire service, Perez worked as a patrol officer in the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and the Aurora Fire Department.

— Sarah Habansky is now Chicagoland business expansion director for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. She is the former regional business development director at the U.S. Department of Energy.

— Chris Kessler is manager of governmental affairs for Openlands. He most recently was a senior Legislative coordinator for the Illinois House Speaker’s legislative unit.

Justin DeJong, who leads public affairs at the American Medical Association, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cubs game yesterday. He was there with Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts and LGBTQ leaders Kim Hunt and Mona Noriega, who led the crowd in song for the 7th inning stretch.

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Jim Nagle for correctly answering that Moses “Moe” Annenberg, best known for publishing the Philadelphia Enquirer, got his start in Chicago.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What do Terry Bruce and Melissa Bean have in common? Email [email protected]

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Linda Perez, Worth Township clerk Eamon McMahon, former state Rep. Dave Winters, lobbyist John Kelly, Chicago YMCA CEO Dorri McWhorter, Pritzker senior policy adviser Emily Miller, attorney and political fundraiser Mike Lieber, and political consultant Norm Sterzenbach.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of Illinois Playbook mischaracterized a story about Gov. JB Pritzker from NBC News. The headline is: ‘Certainly possible’: Illinois governor says Biden could face primary challenge.

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