DNC to hear pitch for Chicago Democratic convention Friday; Pritzker to New Hampshire, Maine

Over the weekend, Pritzker stumps for out-of-state Democrats with a New Hampshire stop sparking more speculation about a presidential bid.

SHARE DNC to hear pitch for Chicago Democratic convention Friday; Pritzker to New Hampshire, Maine
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is hitting the road later this week to D.C., Maine and New Hampshire

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot will pitch Democratic National Committee officials on Chicago’s bid to host the 2024 presidential convention on Friday in Washington, the Sun-Times has learned, with Pritzker then going on the road to stump for Democratic candidates in Maine and New Hampshire, the state with the first presidential primary.

A source familiar with the upcoming meeting to boost Chicago’s convention bid said Pritzker and Lightfoot intend to highlight Chicago’s strengths — from the large number of union hotel rooms, to multiple convention sites, to the Chicago host committee’s willingness to help raise the millions needed for the event.

The Sun-Times also has learned DNC chair Jamie Harrison hits Chicago on Thursday for a Democratic Party of Illinois fundraiser hosted with U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, who’s also the state party chair. Harrison also will meet with labor leaders, state central committee members, and county chair.

The fundraiser, according to an invitation obtained by the Sun-Times, is at Taste, 222 N. Canal St. (More on that below.) Chicago’s main competition for the convention is New York City, with Atlanta and Houston also submitting bids. 

Given the politics of Georgia and Texas — from voting rights to restricting abortion to their Republican governors — it seems highly unlikely the Atlanta or Houston bids have any chance.

New York City is offering Madison Square Garden as the primary site, with various convention-related events at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Chicago is proposing the United Center, McCormick Place and Wintrust Arena, among other venues.


Over the weekend, Pritzker stumps for out-of-state Democrats with a New Hampshire stop sparking more speculation about a presidential bid at some point.

Pritzker – who faces no rival in the June 28 Democratic Illinois primary for governor - is taking his first swing this campaign cycle to other states.

With a leaked Supreme Court opinion seeming to indicate the court is poised to strip women of their current abortion rights, Pritzker, who is making his support for abortion rights a centerpiece of his bid for a second term, is focusing on electing Democratic governors, given his belief that Democratic governors in the post-Roe era are the last line of defense to defend abortion rights.

In Maine, Pritzker will campaign for Gov. Janet Mills. In New Hampshire, Pritzker will boost the re-election campaigns of Sen. Maggie Hassan and Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas and the bid for governor from Tom Sherman, a physician who is a state senator.


Harrison’s Chicago fundraiser with Kelly is a show of support from Harrison, coming in advance of Kelly’s bid for a second term as party chair, with the vote later this summer.

Democratic state central committee members will vote for chair later this summer. Committee members will be elected in the June 28 primary — one man and one woman from each of the 17 Illinois congressional districts.

Kelly and Pritzker are working together to advance bids for the 2024 convention and for Illinois to be one of the first four or five primary states. Pritkzer, however, has declined to say if he will support Kelly’s bid for another term and has been donating, through his campaign fund, to his own picks for state central committee slots.

Illinois is also in the running to become an early primary state, with a DNC official telling the Sun-Times over the weekend the state made the cut to present it’s case to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee when they meet in D.C. between June 22-24.

Iowa is likely to lose it’s kick-off spot in 2024, in part because it holds a caucus — not a more straightforward primary.

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