Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Davis campaign responds *** Rate the Budzinski announcement video
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*** UPDATED x1 - Davis campaign responds *** Rate the Budzinski announcement video

Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, Nikki Budzinski, a labor activist, former senior advisor to Governor JB Pritzker, and former member of the Biden administration at OMB announced her campaign for Congress in Illinois’ 13th congressional district with a coalition of support.

Born in Peoria, Nikki’s parents taught her the importance of family, community, and service to others. From her grandpa, a union painter, she saw how unions built and sustained the middle class. From her grandma, a public-school teacher, she learned the value of a good education. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, Nikki traveled the country fighting to get hard-working people the pay and workplace protections they deserve while working with the IAFF firefighters union and UFCW.

As Governor JB Pritzker’s senior advisor, Nikki helped pass a $15 minimum wage in Illinois and expand high speed internet across the state. As the Chief of Staff in President Biden’s Office of Management and Budget, she helped implement the American Rescue Plan and established the Made in America office.

Budzinski also announced the endorsement of UFCW Local 881, Pastor Ray McJunkins, the Lead Pastor of Union Baptist Church in Springfield, State Representative Katie Stuart, Sangamon County Democratic Chairman Bill Houlihan, Christian County Democratic Chairman Ben Curtin, Jersey County Democratic Chairman Mark Pohlman, Calhoun County Democratic Chairman Paul “Snow” Herkert, and Macoupin County Democrats Chairwoman Pam Monetti.

Budzinski made the following statement: “I’ve spent my whole life fighting for working people and I’ll do the same in Congress. I want to make sure every Illinoisan has access to the same middle-class opportunities that my grandparents did as union painters and teachers.

Rodney Davis isn’t getting the job done. The stakes are too high for middle class families like the one I grew up in to have ineffective leaders in Congress and I plan to go to Congress and deliver for Illinois.”

Steve Powell, President of Local 881 and UFCW International Vice President made the following statement: “Nikki has spent her entire professional life fighting for working people. As we recover from COVID19 and build a new 21st-century economy, we need leaders like Nikki in Congress that are going to stand up for our members and make sure labor has a seat at the decision-making table. My job is to deliver for our members and having advocates like Nikki in Congress makes that easier. That’s why UFCW Local 881 is supporting Nikki.”

Pam Monetti, Chairwoman of the Macoupin County Democrats made the following statement: “Working people need allies in Congress that will make sure middle-class families get a fair shake. We haven’t gotten that from Rodney Davis the entire time he’s been in office. We need a true ally to working people which is why I’m supporting Nikki. She’s walked the walk - working in the labor movement, working to pass a $15 minimum wage in Illinois, and working on the American Rescue Plan in President Biden’s administration. Nikki will get the job done and I encourage others to support her.”

Pastor Ray McJunkins made the following statement: “Nikki Budzinski’s career spans over 20 years as a public servant. With an impressive and extensive background in government and political science Nikki is an exceptional individual when it comes to her passion of making a difference. She understands the importance of involvement in the decision-making process while working for the common good. With her education and experience, I am confident she will be a strong voice for the working class. Nikki Budzinski will bring to Capitol Hill knowledge, skill, experience, integrity, determination, and character. In fact, my descriptive summary of Nikki includes words such as competent, committed, talented, and innovative. She is an asset to local and state government and will be an even greater asset to federal government as she works for the people.”

* Video

Keep in mind that we don’t yet know what the districts will look like, and probably won’t until late October.

*** UPDATE *** Aaron DeGroot at the Rodney Davis campaign…

Hey, Rich.

Here is a quote from me as Davis campaign spokesperson regarding the Nikki Budzinski announcement:

    “Nikki Budzinski is a lifelong Democrat political operative who is steeped in corrupt, Madigan-style politics. When she was a top staffer for Governor Pritzker, she helped Mike Madigan put his allies in patronage jobs throughout state government. Illinois voters have had enough of corrupt Madigan Machine politicians like Budzinski.”

And since Budzinski is Dick Durbin’s candidate for Congress against Rodney, I’ll note that Durbin is 0-5 against Rodney.




  1. - Second Chance - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:24 am:

    Her message is Pritzker is failing the middle class in Illinois? Agree

  2. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:27 am:

    A for the Ad.

  3. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:29 am:

    Pretty good message aimed at the Democrat primary base. But with Budzinski’s pedigree will she even face a primary where that message is needed? Biden’s numbers are not good and she will need to reach Republican voters to take out Davis.

  4. - Chuck Button - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:36 am:

    Outstanding - her warmth and devotion shine through. Like the personal family history.

  5. - uialum - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:37 am:

    A- for the ad, good mix of local and National work. Interesting to mention the American Rescue Plan so prominently since every Republican voted against it and will surely be a contrast point in a general election.

  6. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:38 am:

    Solid video. I don’t think it’s a done deal that she’ll end up facing Davis, but that can always be edited to say LaHood instead.

  7. - City Zen - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    Pretty good, although I’d suggest not putting the words “Biden” and “Rescue” so close together for the time being.

  8. - Gohawks123 - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:43 am:

    A solid ad. I give it an A. She’s going to be a great candidate, excited to see how this goes.

  9. - Independent - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    If nothing else she’s a fresh face in the race. Gill and Londrigan have each had plenty of chances against Davis.

  10. - bkhartbnjo - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    Based on that ad, I’d vote for her.

  11. - Streamwood Retiree - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    As an ordinary voter, saying one is proud to be associated with Biden and mentioning “rescue” is not a good idea right now. Many on the Left as as upset as the Right about the Kabul mess. And while I feel it is a failure of lower level military/diplomatic planning, Presidents own even more than governors. Purely as a practical matter, best to run away f4rom Biden or at least not mention him.

  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 9:55 am:

    === Purely as a practical matter, best to run away f4rom Biden===

    Dems do that often and it never works.

  13. - Dan Johnson - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    She’s a top tier candidate who clearly knows how to put a top tier team together. And it’s refreshing when the genuinely nice people decide to run.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:12 am:

    It’s a B+

    In the legs of not even know how the district will look or if Davis decides to run and win his own primary (against Mary Miller or Bost, who knows?) it hits the feels and points, but… having no context to who exactly needs this message…

    … it’s a B+

  15. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    ==Gill and Londrigan have each had plenty of chances against Davis.==

    Don’t forget Callis and Wicklund (although both for one election each).

  16. - Sharia Capo - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:18 am:

    Nice ad, but her endorsements from the river county Democratic party chairmen are puzzling. Highly Republican, those counties are not even likely to be included in the newly gerrymandered district.
    Is Houlihan’s endorsement tantamount to signaling Durbin’s support?

  17. - jimbo26 - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    Good ad. Shows she has a history of working on issues that matter to working families in the district.

  18. - Nick - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    I wonder what the behind the scenes calculus is here, that she’s running against Rodney Davis explicitly in the 13th district, which almost certainly won’t include Peoria.

    Than running in the new IL-17 which almost certainly would have to include Peoria.

  19. - Al - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:30 am:

    So I understand she is embarrassed of her mother and father? Fair for an intro primary ad.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 10:32 am:

    === So I understand she is embarrassed of her mother and father?===


  21. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 11:17 am:

    The middle class is slipping away in Illinois? I’m sure itt Governor would claim otherwise or at least that’s my impression from his advertising bombardment the past few weeks.

  22. - Sharia Capo - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    ===I wonder what the behind the scenes calculus is here, that she’s running against Rodney Davis===

    No calculus. It just plays well in IL-13. The Dems will forfeit Bustos’ old district to save Underwood and probably even throw a bone to Kinzinger.

    Will Rodney run in 2/3 of his old district? Hard to tell. He could purge Miller in the 15th and leave IL-13 to Shelden, Barickman or widow Oberheim.

  23. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    ==she will need to reach Republican voters to take out Davis. ==

    Maybe not, depending on how the lines are drawn.

    ==Many on the Left as as upset as the Right about the Kabul mess. ==

    Kabul will be a distant memory by the time anyone has to vote for or against Budzinski.

  24. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    ==The Dems will forfeit Bustos’ old district to save Underwood==

    I could see the Rockford/Freeport portions of Bustos’ current district going to Underwood (or even Foster), but what about the Quad Cities and Galesburg? Perhaps the new 13th becomes the long-awaited I-74 district from the QCs to Champaign-Urbana?

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    === but what about the Quad Cities and Galesburg? Perhaps the new 13th becomes the long-awaited I-74 district from the QCs to Champaign-Urbana?===

    You keep this thought.

    We have no idea what the map will look like, but this premise of a carved central/downstate Dem seat, given the population loses outside “Cook”, especially downstate, it’s more feasible to lump large “land areas”, swap Bustos for Kinzinger and maybe see if that old Bustos seat can trend Blue under the new map than make it “too competitive”

    Who knows, but why complicate what is the easiest and safest fix to go 13-4 with a trend of 14-3?

  26. - SWIL_Voter - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    Really enjoying all the surely sincere concerns from Republicans about her tying herself to Biden and the Rescue Plan.

  27. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    Oh man, the fact that Davis’ response goes long on “Because Madigan” ain’t a good sign.

  28. - Nick - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    I’m not going to get into the 14-3 13-4 debate again

    But if you’re Budzinski, and you’ve seemingly moved to Springfield, you’re more or less anticipating that some sort of district is gonna get carved out which goes through Sangamon County, and is competitive.

    And a I-74 district wouldn’t touch that.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===who is steeped in corrupt, Madigan-style politics.====

    Oh Aaron, are you bereft of any original thought or spin?

    I guess the Rauner Word Salad Machine found its way to the Davis campaign.

    It’s stale, it’s tired, and unless Davis says he’s running for Congress, this statement is as useless as a Madigan Documentary.

    Aaron, wasn’t it you, yourself, who made clear that Davis hasn’t even made up his mind as Davis office shops, as not to face Mary Miller, a candidate Davis likely can’t beat?

    But, as far as statements go… you can’t one week say Davis is office shopping and today be concerned about a Davis opponent.. when it’s likely Davis will have trouble getting out of the primary… otherwise Davis would already be touting his own run for his own current seat.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    === the fact that Davis’ response goes long on “Because Madigan”===

    Raunerite default. Two-dimensional thought to Comms

  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:43 pm:


    Brenden Moore, June 23rd, 2021… Updated July 8th, 2021

    === “His decision on what he would run for is kind of, dependent on redistricting and the timetable for that,” said Davis spokesman Aaron DeGroot. “So, I guess it’s just kind of a wait and see at this point.”===

    So… what… Davis is attacking or responding to someone who Davis won’t likely face in any race?

    Well, if you’re gonna respond might as well go “because Madigan” if you have zero idea what any future holds.

    Sometimes saying nothing is best.

  32. - McGuppin - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    Video is an A. Nikki as a candidate is an A. Rodney FINALLY has a credible opponent in what is likely to be a tough district for him.

    Remember when this guy expressed such outrage when Candidate Trump was exposed on the Billy Bush Access Hollywood tape? He claimed he just couldn’t support a misogynist like Trump and then look his daughter in the face. Until Trump won, that is. Then his “outrage” went out the window and he sought to pander to his party’s wacko base. Toast…

  33. - The Real Downstate - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    The Durbin part is hilarious. Davis’ team is highlighting the fact that a US Senator who lives in his congressional district hates him so much that he’s trying to kick him out of office for a sixth time. Says just as much about how people in DC may not like working with Davis as it does about Durbin backing losing candidates lol

  34. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    I am so excited by this. Nikki is amazing. Just amazing. She’s such a quality person.

  35. - Lori's Fedora - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    Very excited about Nikki as a candidate. She is making a strong move to clear the field early.

    I definitely wouldn’t want to run against her in a primary. Nikki may be one of the few people who can get the support of both Durbin and JB right now (she ran JB’s exploratory committee and led the transition team). Plus, she will be THE labor candidate. I can’t imagine there is a member of Congress with a stronger history in the labor movement. And finally, she should be able to raise a ton of money with her DC and IL connections.

    Most importantly, if she wins, she’ll add some real heft to our Congressional delegation. National Political Director for a major union, Hillary’s labor outreach director, strong history with JB, and Chief of Staff for the White House OMB. Hard to find a better resume than that.

  36. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    This is a B ad.

    Has the Illinois 13th congressional district been mapped out yet?

    Where exactly does Nikki live?

    What addresses has Nikki been using to vote for the last 20 years?

    Wasn’t she the executive director of the cynically named Climate Jobs Illinois and what exactly is that organization up to right now?

    There’s a lot of room here for a contested primary and there probably should be one. What exactly should her record be? Should it be the organizations that have paid her to do their political work?

  37. - Gohawks123 - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 2:12 pm:

    Lol Davis you got anything new? Madigan? He’s so last year

  38. - City Zen - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    Four sentences, three Madigan references.

  39. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    “is steeped in corrupt, Madigan-style politics.”

    Yep, he is 5-0. Why is he so scared that he has to use this old, worn out tactic? Obviously, confidence is low.

  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    === Four sentences, three Madigan references.===

    … and that… is a good description of where talent lacks, message fails, and suits are empty.

  41. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 3:22 pm:

    ==There’s a lot of room here for a contested primary and there probably should be one.==

    Any chance Betsy decides to take a third chance at the seat (regardless of how the map ends up)?

  42. - Lori's Fedora - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 3:39 pm:

    So, I’m guessing with someone with Nikki’s experience already has a sense of what the district is going to look like. This is a must win for the Dems.

    Also, Houlihan endorsing should be enough of a signal that Betsy isn’t running. Not sure there is much of an appetite for that anyways.

  43. - Henry - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    Good grief. Someone get AG a new playbook.

  44. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    District isn’t even mapped yet?
    Illinois is losing a Congressional seat.
    If 15, 18 and 12 are all combined to get rid of District 13 where does she run then? Davis will have to choose? Miller or Lahood or Gov run?
    Durbin may want Nicki but Chuy wants another 1-2 Latinos seats, black caucus wants to keep their 4, Bustos seat is gone and Pelosi needs 13 Dems from Illinois, that is a lot tougher now mapping 13 out of 17.

  45. - Angry Chicagoan - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 4:23 pm:

    @Streamwood Retiree — enough with the “run away from Biden” and “the Afghan withdrawal is a disaster” media tantrum. The fact is, they’ve already evacuated more than 60,000 people and so far not lost a single US soldier. And another week. And what we have is a wave of self-serving anonymous briefing of shallow journalists by bureaucrats and think-tank jockeys with an agenda of covering themselves and that’s it.

    Political parties stand together, or fall apart. The Republicans figured this out long ago.

  46. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 6:31 pm:

    ==Has the Illinois 13th congressional district been mapped out yet?==

    FWIW, the Springfield area might find themselves mapped into the 17th with the Quad Cities, Galesburg, etc. again.

  47. - Chris Waller - Tuesday, Aug 24, 21 @ 7:42 pm:

    I give it an A. As an old labor guy and a Democrat, it hits all of the buttons. It will bring Independents as well, and that’s what wins elections. She won’t be in my district, so I can’t vote for her but I’ll work for her.

  48. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:20 am:

    === So I understand she is embarrassed of her mother and father?===
    She didn’t mention them in the ad. How did you come to this conclusion?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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