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Pritzker continues to downplay speculation he’s eyeing the White House

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(The Center Square) – While Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to downplay the idea he’ll run for president, Republicans interpret the governor’s rhetoric differently.

Pritzker has long denied he’s aiming for the White House. He’s publicly supported incumbent President Joe Biden’s reelection. During an unrelated event Monday, Billy Ocasio, president and CEO of the National Puerto Rican Museum in Chicago, said Pritzker’s the man.

“And he’s accomplished so much, but governor I think the best way for me to address the love of our community with you is the question, and that question is, when are you going to run for president?” Ocasio said.

Pritzker was later asked about those comments.

“I did not, this was their invention, thank you,” Pritzker said.

After last week’s State of the State address, where Pritzker worked in presidential politics condemning the likely Republican nominee former President Donald Trump and praising incumbent President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, reacted.

“Well, I have one question, when is Governor Pritzker going to run for president,” “Is it this year, or is it 2028?”

State Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, said Pritzker’s address sounded like a stump speech.

“I wish that instead of focusing on national politics and the governor’s own presidential ambitions, we can sit down and get serious about bringing economic growth to the state of Illinois,” Spain said.

State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, also heard presidential ambitions in the governor’s speech.

“The governor needs to stop making political speeches and actually coming to the Republican caucus, coming to the Democratic caucus and trying to be reasonable to move the state forward,” McClure said. “Right now he just seems to be grandstanding to run for president.”

The Democratic National Convention, where the party’s choice for president will be made, is set for Chicago this August.