Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker sailed to re-election Tuesday but in a triumphant victory speech, sounded more like a candidate for president with the clarion call, “Are you ready to fight?” in warning against extremism and former President Donald Trump’s “treasonous insurrection,” which he said too many Republicans embrace.
“The billionaire progressive Democrat and Hyatt Hotel heir called himself a ‘warrior’ ready to take on former Republican President Donald Trump and Trump allies in the years ahead,” The Chicago Tribune reported.
Pritzker seized a second term over Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey, who eagerly sought Trump’s endorsement.
Pritzker, 57, a billionaire equity investor and philanthropist, pounded the airwaves with ads labeling Bailey as “too extreme” on issues such as abortion, which he opposes except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother and access to guns.
ILLINOIS DEMOCRATIC GOV. JB PRITZKER RE-ELECTED, DEFEATS REPUBLICAN DARREN BAILEY
“Here we are, two years into cleaning up the wreckage of Donald Trump’s presidency, poised to watch this man announce his return to national politics within days,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker reportedly had previously said he would serve the entire four years if reelected and support Joe Biden for reelection in 2024.
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On Tuesday, Pritzker sounded like a different candidate. Mere paragraphs were reserved for his Prairie State pursuits, including a comfortable living wage, robust health care, and virtually unfettered access to abortion, despite the Supreme Court’s upending the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Instead, he warned of a “cancer” that has spread through “one ideological wing” of his rival Republican Party, led by Trump, who has suggested he’ll attempt a comeback.
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“They’ve had ample opportunity to treat the disease and they have refused to do so at every turn. The result has been treasonous insurrectionists tearing down the doors of the U.S. Capitol, the maiming of Capitol Police and an attack on the 82-year-old husband of the speaker of the House with a hammer in his own home,” Pritzker said, referring to last month’s attack on Paul Pelosi.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.