The Democrat’s County Chair brunch in Springfield yesterday morning had a record attendance, 1,800 people, noticeably more than in past years. But despite the capacity crowd, there were few fireworks or barnburner speeches, compared to Governor Bruce Rauner’s promise to pick up “at least” nine House seats at Wednesday’s speech to Republican County Chairs.
As usual, party faithful from around the state plastered themselves with stickers for their preferred candidates, but none of the leading gubernatorial candidates gave especially notable speeches. While Sen. Dan Biss (D-Skokie) and Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar (47) attempted to deliver message-driven speeches, Chris Kennedy focused on a Walt Whitman poem about Abraham Lincoln’s death that shot wide of his audience. J.B. Pritzker largely skipped message, and spoke mostly about party building and boosting the Democratic Party which, to no one’s surprise, was very popular with an audience of party organizers and volunteers.
Also shocking nobody, 83-year-old Secretary of State Jesse White announced his intention to run for reelection, after declaring four years ago at the same chairman’s brunch, that this would be his last term. White, it is broadly rumored, was asked by Democratic Party Chairman and Speaker Mike Madigan to run for reelection because of his stratospheric statewide popularity. If a Democrat is elected Governor, White would be free to retire after his reelection, and the Democratic governor could name his successor.
- No action in the legislature is expected until Wednesday, when Madigan said the House will convene to take up an override of Rauner’s SB1 veto.
- In the meantime, Rauner added 48 names to the list of over 100 unconfirmed gubernatorial nominees waiting in the Senate. Some have been waiting since March.