Photo: Governor JB Pritzker

Illinois Democratic chair fight turns ugly with accusations of racism – NBC News

Chicago – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Lobbying for the overthrow of the state Democratic Party presidency It’s getting messy every day.

An Illinois abortion rights group joined the fray ahead of Saturday’s vote by opposing Representative Robin Kelly The first black woman to head the State party, in pursuit of a full four-year term. This, in turn, prompted a Cook County official to make racist accusations before she withdrew from her role as co-sponsor of the fundraiser hosted by the group.

“As a black woman, I am aware of the dog whistles used to raise legal questions about the first African American and first woman to lead the Democratic Party in Illinois,” Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller said in a statement Wednesday. “The party has flourished under the [Kelly’s] Leadership.”

Miller’s remarks came after the PAC entered the debate in support of Kelly, while the Illinois AFL-CIO announced that it supports the Pritzker-backed Latino candidate, Representative Lisa Hernandez.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced a new round of emergency housing assistance related to Covid-19 at the Abundant Faith Christian Center in Springfield on October 27.John O’Connor/AP . Profile

And in an awkward exchange Tuesday at a joint news conference with the Democratic National Committee, in which Pritzker and Kelly sometimes stood side by side, a reporter asked Pritzker how he might say Democrats are united if he was trying to “push” Kelly from her post.

The clashes come at an inopportune time, given that the Democratic National Committee is visiting Chicago to determine its size as a potential location for the 2024 convention. The introduction of racial politics also complicates matters further for Pritzker, who is not only seeking re-election in the fall, but is also increasingly testing the waters. presidential election for 2024.

Among those from the black partisan bloc who signed on to support Kelly’s majority was Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House of Representatives, known to have made the influential decision to endorse Joe Biden in the 2020 South Carolina presidential primary, setting Biden on the path to victory. Super Tuesday and beyond.

But one of Pritzker’s allies in his bid to impeach Kelly is House Speaker Emmanuel “Chris Welch,” the first African American to hold the speakership in Illinois. And in last year’s party leadership race to fill the rest of the former president’s term, Pritzker endorsed a black candidate who narrowly lost to Kelly.

The vote for the party’s leadership, among the 34 members of the state central committee, is taking place on Saturday. At the Democratic National Committee’s press conference, Pritzker said the party will remain united regardless of the outcome.

Pritzker has repeatedly said that he only opposes Kelly because of the legal fundraising restrictions that apply to her due to her rare dual role as a federal legislator and party chairperson. Abortion rights group Personal PAC has also raised concerns about Kelly’s ability to raise money, claiming the restrictions could affect the efforts of abortion rights advocates in Illinois, which Miller called a “disturbing” allegation.

The FEC ruled last year that Kelly can raise money only for candidates for federal office and that any money for state candidates must be raised through a separate committee that is not subject to review.

“The main problem with Robin as president is that she doesn’t make enough money,” said John Collerton, a former speaker of the Illinois Senate and a member of the state’s Central Committee. “The rest of it is all friendly. It has nothing to do with personality.”

Those sentiments have not satisfied people like Cook County Commissioner Miller, who has accused Personal PAC, a group that supports abortion rights, of using a “dog whistle” because it backed Hernandez over Kelly.

“The personal PAC didn’t ask the same questions about the former president when he was under a federal investigation and they were eventually brought to him,” Miller said of President Mike Madigan, who resigned last year.

In response to a text message, Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove said, “Personal PAC from day one has been proud to support and stand with the first African-American president in the Illinois House of Representatives.”

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