* Capitol News Illinois…
In a classic duel of Pritzker vs. Pritzker, the first lady won.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and First Lady M.K. Pritzker engaged in a bidding war at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday, with the governor’s wife placing the winning bid of $75,000 for a grand champion steer named Lucius.
“I have to say, there’s not a piece of that steer that doesn’t entice me,” the governor quipped with reporters after the sale. He later explained that much of the meat would be donated to the Central Illinois Food Bank.
Lucius, a 1,300-pound steer, was the prize animal of 13-year-old Cole Caldwell, of Elmwood. He had told fair officials earlier that whatever money he made from the sale would go toward his college education and future livestock projects. Still, he said afterwards, he was pleasantly surprised at how much Lucius fetched.
“I was surprised,” he said after the sale. “It’s a little bit of bragging rights for me. My sister won three years ago, and hers sold for less than mine did.”
“I thought I had this thing. I thought I had it cold,” Pritzker said of the annual livestock auction at the Illinois State Fair that benefits 4-H clubs and the Future Farmers of America.
Pritzker joked to reporters after the auction that the steer, which weighs in at around 1,340 pounds, could live on the front lawn of the Governor’s Mansion. Either that or “we’re going to get cuts of meat like you wouldn’t believe.” […]
[Cole Caldwell] admitted he’ll miss Lucius.
“I think I got just a little bit too attached, but that’s just how it goes,” he said. “I love him very much.”
I also became too attached to a steer many years ago when I was in 4-H. They’re almost like pets because you spend so much time feeding them, cleaning up after them, grooming them, training them to be led and to stand just right during the shows. I cried for days one year because I knew I had to sell my steer for slaughter.
The 13-year-old eighth-grader gets half of the $75,000, with 10 percent going to the 4H and FFA, and 15 percent going to the reserve grand champion steer and 25 percent going to all the other breed champions.
The win, said Cole, came through “a lot of hard work and spending a lot of time with my steer.” […]
Cole Caldwell said at first he didn’t realize the first lady and Governor were bidding against each other.
“That was very, very cool,” he said.
Some video is here.
* Illinois State Fair sets record for grandstand revenue: Just five days into festivities, the Illinois State Fair has set a record for grandstand revenue.