Pritzker to address Florida Democrats this weekend, fueling more speculation of presidential run

He's been in Maine this week and will be the Florida Democratic Party's keynote speaker on Saturday at a fundraising dinner in Tampa, after delivering a similar speech last month in New Hampshire.

But Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker says his travels are not related to a potential campaign for president.

Republican critics in Illinois think — and hope — Pritzker’s reach for national attention will turn off some local voters.

"He's running. And, you know, going to New Hampshire, going to Florida, making the comments that he makes about national issues, the assault weapons bans, the abortion stuff. That's not a coincidence. And, so, he's running," said Thomas DeVore, Republican nominee for Illinois attorney general.


Pritzker was at the White House earlier this week for an event related to guns and mass shootings. He appealed for a nationwide ban on military-style rifles that are increasingly the weapons of choice for mass murderers.

A spokeswoman said Pritzker will speak Saturday at a fundraising dinner for Florida Democrats for the same reason he addressed a gathering of New Hampshire Democrats last month: he wants to help elect pro-choice candidates across the country, and to elect more Democrats to pave the way for what he calls "commonsense gun laws," which he touted outside the White House.

"It happens because people show up in the offices of congresspeople from all across the country and tell them, ‘it is time, we will not stand for anything less than a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,’" Pritzker said.

Asked if the governor has any more out-of-state travel on his schedule, Pritzker’s spokeswoman told FOX 32 Chicago, "Not at this time, but the schedule is always in flux."