SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — First-term Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, officially announced his intentions to seek a second term.
In a three-minute video posted to social media, Pritzker highlighted “strong leadership in tough times,” and embraced his record running the state’s executive agencies through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I may not have gotten every decision, right,” he acknowledged, “But at every step along the way, I followed the science and focused on protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people of Illinois.”
Pritzker had stayed quiet about his official plans for the upcoming election until now, although his personal $35 million contribution to his campaign coffers in March was a telltale sign that he intended to run again.
Republican candidates Paul Schimpf, a former state senator from Waterloo, Gary Rabine, a construction business owner, and state senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) have announced primary bids for a chance to challenge Pritzker next year.
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Illinois 13th) responded to Pritzker’s announcement on Twitter, saying the governor “is just another lying, failed politician.” His comments add to speculation that he may jump into the primary race in 2022.
Davis has been widely rumored as a potential challenger, but has not announced a final decision about his 2022 plans. However, he described Pritzker as a vulnerable incumbent during an interview on Capitol Connection.
“I think any Republican candidate we choose is going to be able to beat governor Pritzker,” Davis said. “Any Republican candidate, if going through and chosen in the primary to run head-to-head against Governor Pritzker, who has a record of failure, is going to come out victorious.
Does Davis think he could defeat state senator Darren Bailey in a statewide Republican primary contest?
“If I choose to make a race, I don’t get in it to lose,” he responded.
The 2022 primary date has been postponed to June 28th.
Pritzker is scheduled to discuss his re-election efforts this upcoming Sunday on Capitol Connection.