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Durbin downplays division over state party chair contest, Pritzker denies promises being made

Friday, Feb 26, 2021

* From today’s press conference

Q: [To Sen. Durbin] You and the governor do not agree on who should lead the state Democratic Party […]

Durbin: The good news is, the people who have been mentioned as potential party chair, all three are excellent. All three can lead our party effectively. We may have a difference of opinion on which may be better at the moment, but I think there’s a common belief that all three are excellent.

Q: And family feud? Seems like there’s quite a fight behind the scenes.

Durbin: If it was a real family feud, I wouldn’t be here today. We let our responsibility as public officials really guide us, number one; and number two, long-term friendships will take us through even rocky periods.

Q: Gov. Pritzker, can you talk about [unintelligbile] that there’s really been a hard sell on your part, of phone calls and promises made? Why is that necessary to get Michelle Harris through?

Pritzker: Well, there are no specific, no special promises being made. I’ve called members of the state central committee to let them know why I’m supporting Michelle Harris and how she’s been an activist, somebody who has really built a ground operation to get Democrats out to vote. She has one of the most productive wards in the city of Chicago in terms of getting votes out, someone who’s a listener and a leader. So, I’ve made that case to people on the state central committee. When you say ‘necessary,’ there are a lot of calls that are going on around the state. You saw some state reps and others trying to weigh in on this. Look, I just believe that we need great leadership for building the Democratic Party of Illinois, which really has been something that hasn’t been done for a number of years. We have a great opportunity to do Latino outreach, to communities of color broadly. We need great leadership and we need forward momentum. And I’m very excited about the leadership that I think Michelle Harris will offer.

…Adding… This just in…

Special Meeting of the Central Committee

Dear Chair Karen Yarbrough:

We, the undersigned, wish to co-sign yesterday’s request from fellow State Central Committee Members in calling for a meeting of the Central Committee on March 6, 2021.

Our colleagues deserve the opportunity to discuss this cohesively as a group. Additionally, we should ensure transparency by providing a live stream for the media and general public to view all candidates for Chair presenting their credentials to the Central Committee.

Sincerely,
Hon. Chuy Garcia
State Central Committeeman IL-6

Hon. Cristina Castro
State Central Committeewoman IL-8

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Former Downstater - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 1:06 pm:

    I’m not sure promises is the correct word for what’s being communicated to committeepeople by the Governor and his staff on a daily basis.


  2. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    From now on, I’m going to answer every negative question with,” The good news is… excellent”.


  3. - Peter Janko - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    I was elected to the Democratic State Central in 2018. I have attended every Democratic State Central Committee Meeting and function in both Springfield and in Chicago since then. I have also attended JB’s inauguration; the last two Democratic Chair Brunches; the after election open houses and socials in Springfield. Yet in those two years, I have never met Michelle Harris. The first time I heard her name was when the Democratic Party Chair candidates were first announced and I had no idea who she was.

    From Michelle Harris’s “My Vision for the Future of the Democratic Party of Illinois”

    “In that spirit, I wanted to present my ideas about how to do just that. This is not an exhaustive list - I will continue to add to it as I have conversations with each of you and Democrats across the state. But it does reflect ideas and input I have heard from Democrats across Illinois over my years serving on the State Central Committee, and in conversations with many SCC members this week. I hope it will give you a sense of the leadership I would bring as Chairwoman of the Democratic Party. I am happy to have further conversations with any and all of you about each of these ideas.”

    To Michelle Harris, “Where were you two years ago when I was first elected and ever since then?” Call me just a wee bit skeptical on this vision.

    Peter Janko
    Democratic State Central Committeeman
    14th Congressional District of Illinois


  4. - TT - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    That podium they used looked different than the normal podium


  5. - Ward - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    Well Michelle Harris had not supported democrats the party has endorsed and in her ward supports others. I have never seen her send help at other wards just saying …


  6. - Cookcountysuburban - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 3:19 pm:

    If I had a vote it will be Castro. We need new blood and vision to the party. We in the burbs are always left hanging with no supporter or resources from the party.


  7. - Joe Schmoe - Friday, Feb 26, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    Is JB going to lose another battle?


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