Democrat critical of pandemic handling mounts primary challenge against Pritzker | Illinois

Democrat critical of pandemic handling mounts primary challenge against Pritzker | Illinois


(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker could have at least one challenger in the June 2022 primary election.

Pritzker announced his candidacy last week. After admitting in a campaign video he may not have gotten every decision right during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he deserves a second term.

But, he’ll have to survive the Democratic primary.

Beverly Miles, a nurse and U.S. Army veteran from Chicago, intends to file for the nomination. She criticized the governor’s handling of the pandemic, including the shutting down of businesses.

“Considering that he made a really, really bad mistake the first time, with shutting everybody down where a lot of people lost businesses and lost income but yet he continued to make money, I think it should go the other way around,” Miles said in an interview. “I think he should be shut down and not make any money and allow other people to continue their businesses.”

Miles criticized Pritzker, a billionaire, for being in a class of high earners that reported income gains during the pandemic.

Pritzker’s campaign did not return messages seeking comment.

Miles said she contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized. She questioned the expense on taxpayers from building a temporary overflow hospital that sat mostly vacant inside the McCormick Place last year.

She was also critical of the lack of Black business owners getting adult-use cannabis businesses licenses under the Pritzker administration. When lawmakers approved recreational cannabis, they promised Illinois would have the most equity-centric cannabis licensing process in the nation.

When it comes to political finances, Pritzker spent around $160 million in his successful bid for the job in 2018. Earlier this year, he gave his campaign another $30 million.

Miles said Pritzker’s money isn’t a challenge to her message as a working person for the working people.

“Why does anyone put $35 million into an election for a seat that only pays $200,000 a year, that doesn’t make sense to me,” Miles said

There are three announced Republicans vying for the party’s nomination: State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf and businessman Gary Rabine.

The primary election is June 28, after the governor signed Senate Bill 825, moving the date from March 15, 2022.

Candidates from the established Democratic and Republican parties can begin circulating petitions Jan. 13 and have between March 7 and March 14 to file nominating petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Non-established, or new political parties like independents, Green Party or Libertarian Party candidates, can begin circulating nominating petitions beginning April 13, 2022, with filings to the Illinois State Board of Elections between July 5 and July 11, 2022.


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