Aug 1, 2022 - Politics

Governor Pritzker's political power grows

Photo illustration of Arkansas Governor J. B. Pritzker with lines radiating from him.
Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) elected state Rep. Lisa Hernandez as its new chairperson.

Why it matters: As Gov. J.B. Pritzker's handpicked chairperson, Hernandez is likely to give him more control of fundraising and candidate slating for future elections.

Context: U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly had served as chair since the abrupt resignation of Michael Madigan in 2021. But Kelly withdrew from last weekend's election because she didn't have the central committee votes.

What they're saying: "The DPI has taken dramatic steps forward by modernizing our party operations, developing new and impactful programming, and re-engaging with the national Democratic Party in a way not seen in decades," Kelly said in a statement.

  • Under Kelly's direction, the party has been vying for an earlier 2024 primary date and to bring the national convention here.

The other side: Hernandez's supporters noted that because of Kelly's job title, she had restrictions on fundraising. Hernandez does not have those restrictions.

Yes, but: Pritzker may now have control of the party, the fundraising and slating candidates, but the candidates he backed in the June primary didn't fare well.

What's next: The party gears up for the midterm and statewide elections in November.

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