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Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker said Chicago can expect to have an ear in Springfield but said that with him the city will have “no more special a role than helping a city like Quincy address its gun violence problem or a city like Rockford to bring economic development around their airport.”
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune about whether Chicago could count on special help, such as with its municipal employee pension debt, Pritzker said the city is “a major economic engine for the state and I intend to work with the mayor of Chicago, whoever that may be next, as I will with the mayor of Rockford and the mayor of Peoria.”
“We really are ‘One Illinois’ as Ameya Pawar (the 47th Ward alderman who withdrew as a Democratic primary candidate for governor) coined the phrase, and that means a governor who’s thinking as much about what’s good for Carbondale, Peoria, Rockford and Champaign as what’s good for a city like Chicago,” he said.
So, as one of the top leaders in the Democratic Party hierarchy, will Pritzker get involved in the contest to pick a successor to outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel?
“No,” Pritzker said, providing perhaps his most succinct answer to a question after a long governor campaign season.
Of course, there’s little reason for Pritzker to weigh in on a choice for mayor. His election represented a coalition of interests and activists within the Democratic Party. Choosing a mayoral candidate could be viewed as backing one group and alienating the others. (Rick Pearson)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scheduled to participate in a ribbon cutting for an Old Navy store, then participage in the opening of the Pullman Community Sports Center and then take part in the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Valor Awards Dinner.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner has no public events scheduled.
From the notebook
*Raoul ‘not a big (Jeff) Sessions fan’: Moments before Illinois Attorney General-elect Kwame Raoul walked into Valois restaurant in Hyde Park for a postelection celebration, news broke that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had resigned at President Donald Trump’s request.
“I wasn’t a big Sessions fan,” Raoul told reporters and TV cameras at one of former President Barack Obama’s favorite restaurants. “I worry that Trump wasn’t either, and that the replacement might be more threatening than Jeff Sessions was.”
The acting attorney general will be Sessions chief of staff Matthew Whitaker.
Raoul on Tuesday defeated Republican attorney Erika Harold in the race to replace Attorney General Lisa Madigan as the state’s top lawyer. A key contention of his campaign was that a Democratic attorney general could be a check on Trump’s administration.
Raoul is a Hyde Park Democrat who has represented a state Senate district since 2004, when he was appointed to fill the seat being vacated by Obama. The race marked Harold’s second bid for elected office. She was soundly defeated in the 2014 Republican primary for a Downstate congressional seat by incumbent Rodney Davis. (Mike Riopell)
*Pritzkerbot 3000: Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker showed up at the Roosevelt “L” station the morning after his victory to greet commuters.
“I’m J.B. Pritzker, I’m running for governor,” he said to a man in the station. “I ran for governor, sorry, I’m governor-elect,” he said Wedneday with a laugh.
Pritzker and his soon-to-be-Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton ducked out of a vehicle and onto the sidewalk outside the Roosevelt “L” station in the South Loop around 11:45 a.m. After taking a few questions from the media, they ventured inside the station where they met a number of surprised Chicagoans.
“Hey, I voted for you twice,” a young man joked as he got a picture with Pritzker.
Pritzker, a Democrat, said he plans to spend most of his time in Springfield while his family will remain in Chicago. (Anna Spoerre)
What we’re writing
*Democrats’ new era in Illinois sets up power dynamic between Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, House Speaker Michael Madigan.
*Some Rahm Emanuel allies gravitate toward Susana Mendoza as she preps likely run for Chicago mayor.
*President Trump on Republican loss in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District: ‘Peter Roskam didn’t want the embrace.’
*Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker names transition team, including former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar, Michael Sacks.
*Chicago voters want straw ban, schools funded by marijuana revenue.
*Lauren Underwood, Sean Casten bask in Democrats’ suburban victories.
*In Cook County Board races, Republican strongholds lose grip to blue wave — and a lot of green.
*Holocaust denier Arthur Jones loses in Illinois 3rd District but still gets more than 25 percent of the vote.