Pritzker’s Bailey gamble, Lightfoot’s choice words for Thomas, My Morning Jacket’s love for Chicago and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Pritzker’s Bailey gamble, Lightfoot’s choice words for Thomas, My Morning Jacket’s love for Chicago and more in your Chicago news roundup
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Gov. J.B. Pritzker talks with supporters at Manny’s Deli in Chicago on Tuesday.

Kevin Tanaka /Chicago Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 92 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 73. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 83 degrees and a 50% chance of thunderstorms.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

Pritzker helped Bailey win — but now governor would rather all the credit go to Trump

Darren Bailey was clearly Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s chosen Republican candidate for governor, but yesterday the Democratic governor launched into his new emphasis, that the downstate farmer is “Donald Trump’s candidate for governor.”

In an interview with the Sun-Times the morning after the primary, the Chicago Democrat appeared to have no regrets in boosting a far-right GOP candidate for governor or qualms about widespread expectations that Pritzker again will self-fund his own campaign to record levels.

With his reelection battle immediately in full swing, Pritzker will transition from luring Republican primary voters to vote for Bailey to tying the state senator from southern Illinois to the former president, who was very popular with GOP primary voters, but, Pritzker believes, not so much with those who will be voting in November.

The Chicago Democrat also hopes to tout his accomplishments as governor and attract voters who are upset about the Roe v. Wade reversal.

The governor — and Democrats across the country — have backhandedly helped Republican primary candidates they’d rather face in the general election by dubbing them “too conservative” in ads and mailers. In Illinois, that strategy in part helped Bailey sail to victory on Tuesday – more than 42 percentage points ahead of his closest primary rival.

As for Pritzker, with 99.3% of precincts reporting, the governor garnered more than 753,795 votes against nominal Democratic primary rival Beverly Miles. That’s just 31,883 shy of the votes of all of the GOP primary candidates combined, suggesting Bailey will face an uphill battle to the top.

Four years ago, he broke records spending $171.5 million of his personal fortune to beat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

And so far, the billionaire governor has already dumped $90 million into his reelection campaign, even though he faced a primary opponent he never bothered to campaign against. Miles finished with only 8.2% of the Democratic Primary vote to Pritzker’s 91.8%.

Tina Sfondeles has more on Pritzker’s gamble here.

More news you need

  1. Dakotah Earley, who was shot three times at point-blank range during a mugging in Lincoln Park nearly two months ago, can now speak and eat on his own. The 24-year-old has started physical therapy and should be discharged home in two or three weeks, his mother said.
  2. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today refused to apologize for her “F- - - [U.S. Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas” remarks during her Pride in the Park speech last weekend. Instead, she’s doubling down by fundraising, arguing that Thomas is such a “disgrace” to the nation’s highest court that he should resign.
  3. The mayor is also locking in endorsements ahead of her bid for a second term — with support today coming from Democratic Reps. Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush and Danny Davis. While the list of challengers to Lightfoot is growing, as of today, she is the only woman in the field — and the only candidate with substantial political funds.
  4. Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in to the Supreme Court today, making her the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court, the Associated Press reports. Our Lynn Sweet compiled a timeline of stories, columns and transcripts — coverage leading to today’s swearing-in of Jackson as the 116th justice.
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A bright one

Jim James embracing new positivity with My Morning Jacket’s return to the road

When My Morning Jacket’s Jim James wrote “One Big Holiday” 20 years ago about his dream to break free of dull work life and go out and play music, he never fathomed the fragility of that sentiment. After being sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, My Morning Jacket has returned to the road the past year with renewed energy and appreciation for the dream of playing live music.

“It’s been really beautiful. There’s this renewed sense of gratitude after having it taken away with COVID,” says James during a recent interview with Joshua M. Miller for the Sun-Times. “We are trying to embrace every moment, every minute of every show, trying to really try to be present. There’s a really good feeling in the band right now. Just a better communication and just all around, just a renewed sense of clarity for everybody.”

It’s especially sweet, as it coincided with their return to the studio. After a short hiatus, the band reconvened to record their self-titled album, which came out last year. The album features a spirited journey of psychedelic and roots rock, always anchored by James’ thought-provoking and ever-hopeful lyrics.

2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 3

Jim James of My Morning Jacket performs during the 2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The band headlines Northerly Island on Saturday.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

It helps that the album comes from a positive place, with James noting that the band is trying “as much as we can to be a source of positivity for people or an outlet for people to move some energy.”

James says he’s excited to return to Chicago, describing the city as “this big, amazing place filled with so much possibility.” Some of the band’s earliest tour gigs included Chicago.

“It’s a really special feeling for us because it brings us back to where we started and just feeling like somebody cares,” says James. “It feels so special to see people there really responding to the music.”

You can catch James and co. at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Saturday. Joshua Miller has more with James here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s the best park in Chicago? Tell us why.

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What makes a restaurant a quintessential Chicago eatery?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Has to be closed down at least once by the Board of Health.” — Mya Seals

“A table cloth.” — Jerry Anderson

“Great food, known by locals, repeat customers, no music, carpeting and wood paneling. robust but not overwhelming beer choice, waitress who converses with guests and vice-versa; open even when it’s 500 degrees [below] zero.” —Craig Barner

“Made-in-house Italian beef.” —Scott Fricke

“Old Style on tap.” —Bill Slayton

“The basket of bread and crackers on the table, and/or a relish tray.” — Julie Delorenzo

“How long it’s been open, what the locals say about it, how good the food is, and if out-of-towners (not ‘tourists’) go there to eat. If it’s been standing before the Stockyards closed, it borders on legendary!” —Lynette Miller

“The line of people waiting their turn to get in.” —Flores David

“Simple and authentic. Like eating in your grandma’s kitchen.” — Abby Oliver

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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