Biss Lands Major Progressive Group's Endorsement

The political organization that grew out of Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign in Illinois endorsed state Sen. Daniel Biss for governor Monday.

Our Revolution Illinois, a grassroots coalition boasting more than 250,000 members, gave Biss its support ahead of the Democratic primary election scheduled for March 20.

"For the first time in many years, working men and women have a true voice and champion in our next governor and lieutenant governor," Our Revolution Illinois chair Clem Balanoff said in announcing the endorsement of Biss and his running mate, state Rep. Litesa Wallace.

The support is the latest in a series of recent boosts for the Biss campaign, seeking to channel the energy of Illinois progressives in order to survive the primary. Last week, the former math teacher pocketed an endorsement from a national nursing union as well as, a major progressive fundraising and advocacy operation.

Those endorsements were a blow to the campaign of Chris Kennedy, a businessman and son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, who has run on a similar anti-establishment platform and targeted figures like Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Kennedy received the backing of key Sanders supporter and Emanuel's one-time runoff opponent, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in September. 

Our Revolution Illinois' support for Biss stemmed from a poll of nearly 40,000 progressives in which Biss was "the overwhelming favorite," the organization said in a statement.

After receiving the group's support, Biss was quick to take aim at primary rival J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire Hyatt heir and Democratic fundraiser who has earned much of the party's establishment support.

Biss accused Pritzker of taking advantage of federal tax loopholes by “moving money from offshore accounts, liquidating assets, putting them in shell companies in all sorts of different states” before launching his campaign, referring allegations posted by an anonymous Twitter account and a subsequent WCIA report detailing some of Pritzker's financial transactions.

Pritzker's camp pushed back against allegations of tax dodging.

"This ‘story’ connects completely unrelated dates and facts and is a lesson in why regurgitating an anonymous political twitter account is so dangerous,” a spokeswoman for his campaign said in a statement. “Before taking anonymous information riddled with innuendo and parading it around as news, it would serve the voters to get the facts right first.”

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