Senator Bernie Sanders was in Chicago this week to support Congressional candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, but he when it comes to the governor’s race, the former presidential candidate isn’t tipping his hand.
Sanders attended an event with Garcia on Thursday afternoon. The Cook County commissioner, who campaigned for Sanders during the 2016 presidential primary, got some serious political love back from the senator during the event.
“There’s a lot of love, and it’s a huge payback,” he said. “My cup runneth over, as Harold Washington used to say.”
Despite giving Garcia his blessing, Senator Sanders was mum on whom he was supporting for governor.
“It’s a great community and I think you have wonderful candidates who understand what Donald Trump doesn’t: the future is about focusing on what brings up together and not what is dividing us up,” he said.
That reluctance to endorse is a departure from the group Our Revolution, which spawned from Sanders’ campaign. That group has endorsed State Senator Daniel Biss, and they held an event outside of J.B. Pritzker’s Gold Coast mansion on Thursday.
Despite Sanders’ silence, Biss still says that he would be happy to have his support if he were to offer it.
“I’d be excited to have anyone’s endorsement in this campaign,” he said.
Garcia, who has endorsed Chris Kennedy for governor, is facing a tough race as he seeks to replace Rep. Luis Gutierrez, as newcomer Sol Flores is gaining traction in her campaign.
“I’ve never been afraid of a challenge,” she said. “I’ve never been one to back down from one, and you shouldn’t discount me.”
Garcia still leads in the polls, but his support of Speaker Mike Madigan has raised concerns as questions arise over the speaker’s handling of sexual harassment allegations within his office.
“If there are more findings that there are violations then I reserve the right to support anyone who is in the race to become the chairman of the Democratic Party,” he said.