Penny Pritzker endorses Joe Biden for president

Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune and sister of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, played an instrumental role in Obama’s journey to the White House.

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In this July 12, 2016 file photo, then U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker speaks during a news conference in the Commission Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium. Pritzker, a major Democratic fundraiser and former commerce secretary under President Barack Obama, has endorsed Joe Biden for president.

AP

WASHINGTON — Billionaire businesswoman Penny Pritzker, a major Democratic fundraiser and former commerce secretary under President Barack Obama, has endorsed Joe Biden for president.

The former vice president’s campaign announced her endorsement on Wednesday. Pritzker’s support could give Biden a considerable fundraising boost.

Pritzker is an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune and played an instrumental role in Obama’s rise, helping him raise money for his successful Senate run as well as his 2008 presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. She served as Obama’s commerce secretary from 2013 until he left office.

Her brother J.B. Pritzker is the governor of Illinois. He has not yet endorsed a candidate himself, Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet reports.

Penny Pritzker praised Biden’s years of Washington experience in a statement, which noted that she has known him for more than 20 years.

“I can think of no one better prepared for the job of President of the United States than Joe Biden,” she said. “He will be a commander-in-chief that will make all Americans proud, and he will rebuild our alliances to make our nation once again respected across the world as a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom.”

Pritzker joins a list of Obama administration officials who have endorsed Biden, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

Biden, who launched his presidential campaign in April, is among the 2020 Democratic front-runners. He was one of six remaining candidates onstage for the latest debate, in Iowa on Tuesday night.

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