President Pritzker? Illinois governor denies reports he's aiming for White House

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Tuesday contradicted a New York Times report that he's been talking behind-the-scenes about a possible campaign for president.

"I have never spoken privately with anybody or publicly about that," Pritzker said.

In a story speculating that President Joe Biden might not seek re-election in 2024, the New York Times listed Pritzker's name among 10 possible Democratic contenders.

"I have no intention of running for anything except re-election as governor," Pritzker said. "Of course, people have mentioned this to me on occasion. But I’ve never had a conversation with anybody about it."

If true, that would render Pritzker a rarity among Illinois governors of the last century. His predecessor, Republican Bruce Rauner, reportedly discussed it with consultants even before moving into the executive mansion in Springfield.

Within days of Democrat Rod Blagojevich taking the oath as governor in 2003, he was on a state plane to Washington, D.C., chatting excitedly about a potential bid for president in 2004.

In addition, Pritzker is a multi-billionaire who, together with other multi-billionaire family members, could bankroll a campaign all by themselves. Still, to be credible, he needs to win a second term in his current job next year.

"I think I’ve been pretty clear about this. I wanna be governor of Illinois. I wanna continue to be governor of Illinois. I'm doin' the job that I love," Pritzker said.


Illinois' Republican Party put out a written statement mocking the governor, complaining, "Pritzker never committed to serving his full term as governor...should he be re-elected."

GOP chairman Don Tracy admonished, "get to work, governor, and stop dreaming."