Joins other legislators, unions backing the Democrat for governor
By CARL GREEN
Alton, IL – State Representative Dan Beiser, a longtime friend of working families, made his last act in office endorsing J.B. Pritzker for governor.
Beiser, of the 111th District in the Alton area, announced in August that he would not run for re-election next year.
But on Sunday, Dec. 17, he issued a statement saying he was resigning immediately to have more time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Democratic leaders then chose Monica Bristow, executive director of the Riverbend Growth Association (RBGA), to replace Beiser, and she is running in the March primary to be elected to the position.
“Serving our Metro East community has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Beiser said. “I have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people to help improve our communities, and I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved together.”
Also that day, Beiser and five other state legislators from the metro east endorsed Pritzker, the entrepreneur/investor who has become the leading candidate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Also endorsing Pritzker were two veteran state senators, James Clayborne of Belleville, the majority leader, and Bill Haine of Alton. Neither is running for re-election.
Representatives joining the endorsement list were Jay Hoffman of Swansea, LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis and Katie Stuart of Edwardsville.
Pritzker has been endorsed by union groups including the Illinois AFL-CIO and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, plus U.S. senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.
Pritzker appeared with some of the state representatives at the IBEW Local 309 hall in Collinsville, where he defined the reasons for his campaign.
“This campaign is about health care, jobs and education,” he said. “We want a quality education for every child in Illinois. We want to make sure we expand health care so we’ve got universal health care ultimately in this state.
And it’s time, finally, to create jobs for people in the state so we can raise wages. That’s what this campaign is all about.”
UNITING THE PARTY
Clayborne said he believes Pritzker can unite the Democratic Party.
“As governor, he will create jobs throughout the state based on each region’s assets and strengthen our educational system based on the needs of each region of the state,” he said. “I made my decision to endorse J.B. after assessing all of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates. J.B. is the candidate to move Illinois forward.”
Haine said Pritzker has a record of positive accomplishments.
“He’s the only candidate in this race with comprehensive policy plans to create jobs, build infrastructure, and invest in education throughout our state,” Haine said.
Pritzker said he wants to be lead a Democratic surge in the 2018 election.
“From East St. Louis to Chicago, from union workers to small business owners, from students to seniors, we are ready to come together and defeat Bruce Rauner,” he said. “We’re organizing to win in every county. We’re going to elect Democrats at every level. We’re going to come together as Illinoisans and get our state back on track.”