Beginning what’s expected to be a pricey media blitz, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday rolled out three TV ads featuring everyday Illinoisans and their contributions to helping the state through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ads are the first of the gubernatorial campaign season and come just days after Pritzker launched his reelection campaign.
The three ad spots narrated by Pritzker feature a woman named Jenica Krushall, “one of the many nurses who put themselves at risk to save lives;” Corey Brooks, a seven-year veteran of the Illinois National Guard, which helped the state set up vaccination sites and “led the way to getting the job done;” and Doris and Rick Kennay, who switched from making bourbon at the Rochelle-based Kennay Farms Distilling to making hand sanitizer.
“It’s the people of Illinois all across the state who came together during tough times to lead the effort to save lives and protect livelihoods during the state’s response to the COVID pandemic,” Pritzker said in a statement.
“It’s the people of Illinois who motivate me every day, and I’m excited to be running for reelection to continue to lift up working families and move Illinois in the right direction.”
A campaign spokeswoman said the ads will appear on broadcast and cable TV statewide, and versions of the clips will also appear on social media. The campaign is not releasing details about how much the ad buy costs “at this time,” the spokeswoman said.
Pritzker’s pandemic response was the focal point of his reelection announcement video, which was released Monday. Brooks, a physician assistant from Belleville, and Krushall, a registered nurse from Springfield, were also featured in that video.
That video featured news clips that lay out signature pieces of the governor’s pandemic response, such as the push to get personal protective equipment in the hands of health care workers, covering emergency child care for front-line workers and providing funds for small businesses.
The announcement video also offers up soundbites from mayors, small-business owners and others who call the governor brave and laud his leadership.
“Look, I may not have gotten every decision right, but at every step along the way I followed the science and focused on protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people,” Pritzker said in the announcement video.
“Part of why I’m running for reelection is because I watched the heroes across our state step up and do the right thing. We had so much to accomplish, and we were able to do that together. I’m very proud of all of the people of the state of Illinois, and we have so much more we can do together.”
On the Republican side, state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, suburban businessman Gary Rabine and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo have lined up to try to unseat the governor.