Obama backs Pritzker for governor

In a statewide ad, the former president credits Pritzker for making Illinois a national leader in raising the minimum wage and protecting voting rights and a woman’s right to choose, among other issues.

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Former President Barack Obama hugs Gov. J.B. Pritzker after participating in the Obama Presidential Center ceremonial groundbreaking in Jackson Park on the South Side, Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 28, 2021.

Former President Barack Obama on Friday released an ad endorsing Gov. J.B. Pritzker for reelection.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

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Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker for reelection, while crediting him for making Illinois a national leader on Democratic issues like abortion and voting rights.

The endorsement caps a week in which Obama also endorsed three other Democratic gubernatorial candidates: Charlie Crist in Florida, Katie Hobbs in Arizona and Steve Sisolak, the incumbent Democratic governor of Nevada.

He’s also setting his sights on helping more vulnerable Democrats in the high-pressure midterms, with stops planned in Nevada, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In a statewide ad released Friday by Pritzker’s campaign, Obama says Illinois “will always hold a special place in my heart.”

“You believed in me before anyone else did,” Obama says. “And you believed in J.B. Pritzker, too.”

In the ad, Obama credits Pritzker for making Illinois a national leader on issues like raising the minimum wage, protecting voting rights, cracking down on the sale of illegal guns and protecting a woman’s right to choose.

“That’s why I’m proud to cast my ballot to reelect JB Pritzker,” Obama says in the 30-second ad. The Pritzker campaign said the ad will begin running statewide as soon as Friday.

The Obamas on Monday voted at the early voting supersite at Clark and Lake streets, before surprising students at two Obama Foundation events.

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