U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez endorsed JB Pritzker for Illinois governor on Monday, citing the billionaire businessman’s opposition to President Donald Trump as a major factor in his support.
“It seems to me that we need to find defenders and protectors of our children and our families,” the Democratic congressman from Chicago said at an announcement event. “JB was very, very clear in the beginning that the policies of Donald Trump are discriminatory, are biased, are prejudiced and racist policies,” he continued. “He stood up with our community and he called it for what it is, and those are the kinds of men and women that we need in elected office.”
Pritzker, a Democrat, called for the beginning of impeachment proceedings against Trump in May after reports surfaced that Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials, saying he believed impeachment “is necessary to protect our country’s national security and preserve our democracy.”
Gutierrez has long been an outspoken critic of Trump, particularly when it comes to immigration policy, and on Monday called incumbent Illinois governor Bruce Rauner a “sidekick” of the president.
“JB has spent his life lifting up our most vulnerable communities and fighting for Illinois families,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “But our current governor has failed our families and refuses to stand up to Donald Trump’s attacks. Unlike Rauner, I know that JB will be a partner and a friend to our immigrant communities in Illinois and he will never be afraid to stand up to Donald Trump.”
“As governor, I will work with Congressman Gutierrez to pass the TRUST act, ensure DREAMers can graduate and contribute to the economy, invest in quality education for all Illinoisans, and support small businesses and access to capital in the communities that need it most,” Pritzker said in a statement, adding that he was “honored” to receive his support.
“Most importantly, I will partner with Congressman Gutierrez to stand up to Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner's fear-mongering and attacks on Illinois families. Rauner refuses to stand up to Donald Trump’s hate and has decimated funding for immigrant services in Illinois. The nearly 1.8 million immigrants in Illinois deserve a governor who will fight for them and I look forward to standing with Congressman Gutierrez to be that governor.”
While congressional leaders often wait on the sidelines until the primary is over, Monday’s announcement – as well as Rep. Bobby Rush’s endorsement of Chris Kennedy for the Democratic nomination – came nine months before the primary election day in a race that’s shaping up to be the most expensive in state history.
Pritzker, a venture capitalist and heir to the Hyatt fortune, donated $7 million to his own campaign in April, four months after Rauner gave his re-election fund $50 million.