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As Democrats join presidential teams, Pritzker stays on the sidelines

“I’m for the Democrat,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know who is going to win in Illinois. I don’t know who is going to win the nomination. But I know one thing — Donald Trump has got to go.” 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news conference in 2019.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press conference in December.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

SPRINGFIELD — If Illinois Democrats are looking for help in deciding among the dwindling field of presidential candidates, they shouldn’t look to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

With just two weeks before the Illinois primary, the governor said Tuesday that he has no plans to join other Democrats across the country making endorsements.

“I’m for the Democrat,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know who is going to win in Illinois. I don’t know who is going to win the nomination. But I know one thing — Donald Trump has got to go.”

Speaking on Super Tuesday, a day in which 14 states, including delegate-rich California and Texas, and one U.S. territory are holding primaries, the Democratic governor reiterated that when it comes to who his party should nominate to go up against Trump — he does not have a dog in the fight.

As the Democratic field narrowed over the last few days, some prominent Democrats are choosing sides. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended their presidential bids and both promptly endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.

Democratic presidential Joe Biden is endorsed by former rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., during a campaign stop in Dallas, Monday.
Democratic presidential Joe Biden is endorsed by former rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., during a campaign stop in Dallas, Monday.
Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., on Monday announced she was backing Biden. The day before, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White also came out for Biden. Others Illinois Democrats in the Biden camp include U.S. Representatives Danny Davis and Brad Schneider.

Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill., announced last month that he’s backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Vermont. Sen. Bernie Sanders headlines a campaign rally for then-Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in 2018.
Vermont. Sen. Bernie Sanders headlines a campaign rally for then-Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a candidate for Illinois’ 4th Congressional District, in 2018.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Pritzker has repeatedly resisted choosing sides, and as the March 17 primary nears, he indicated he has no plans to change his mind and endorse a candidate.

“That’s not my intention, I mean I know there’s a couple of weeks left, but not my intention,” Pritzker said.

Speaking to reporters at the Illinois Agricultural Day breakfast, Pritzker insisted he can still work with Trump’s administration despite his criticism of the president. Pritzker was a major donor to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has been calling for Trump’s impeachment as early as 2017.

Pritzker said during a February trip to Washington, D.C., Trump committed to providing Illinois with “greater support” from the Army Corps of Engineers to help with long-term flood protection after major floods have devastated parts of the state.

“Look, I’m a Democrat, but at the same time I want to accomplish things for our state,” Pritzker said.