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Gov.-elect Pritzker, other new governors to meet Thursday with Trump, Pence

During the campaign, Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker delivered a speech at a site along the Chicago River that put the Trump International Hotel & Tower in the background; Pritzker tried to tie President Donald Trump to incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on a variety of issues. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, who bashed President Donald Trump throughout his Illinois campaign, joins other governors-elect at the White House on Thursday to meet with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Pritzker and the other incoming governors will meet with Trump cabinet members before a roundtable session with Trump and Pence.

“JB was invited to the White House and will be taking this opportunity to advocate for Illinois. As JB said on the campaign trail, he will work with Democrats and Republicans to bring more federal dollars back to the state and fight for policies that benefit working families,” Pritzker transition press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh told the Sun-Times.  Pritzker, who will be inaugurated Jan. 14 in Springfield, tied Republican Bruce Rauner to Trump, not particularly popular in Illinois. Pritzker used Chicago’s Trump Tower as a backdrop for Rauner-Trump trashing, in commercials and in a speech.

Quentin Fulks, who was the deputy campaign manager, will be accompanying Pritzker on the day trip.

This is Pritzker’s first visit to Washington since his election in November. On the weekend of Nov. 17, Pritzker traveled to Colorado Springs for the National Governors Association new governor conference.

The visit from governors comes as Trump will have to deal with a Democratic House starting on Jan. 3. He has threatened a partial federal government shutdown over the issue of Congress giving him funding for a wall on the Mexican border, which would have deep impact in almost every state. The most promising bipartisan legislation in the pipeline is dealing with the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.