Governor-elect Pritzker getting ready to tackle Illinois problems

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CHICAGO -- The Illinois governor-elect and lieutenant governor-elect are now in transition mode and getting ready to take on the state’s problems.

J.B. Pritzker and Juliana Stratton are looking ahead but also celebrating their resounding victory.

“We won in DuPage County which a Democrat for Governor hasn’t won since 1942. We won in Kane County —1912 it’s been. Champaign County, it’s been since 1936 that a Democrat running for Governor has won that County,” Pritzker said.

Billionaire Pritzker invested millions of his fortune into not only his campaign but a statewide effort to elect Democrats. He told WGN he’s especially proud Lauren Underwood won in the 14th Congressional District.

“She was so impressive and that’s Lauren Underwood. She’s the new congresswoman-elect today because she worked so hard in our her district and we worked together to knock on doors across her district,” Pritzker said.

Stratton is heading up a diverse transition committee that includes former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar.

“We’re thrilled that Jim Edgar is one of our co-chairs and as you can see it’s just another example of how we’re making sure that we have not only the best people to help guide this transition process but that we’re also reaching across the aisle,” Stratton said.

Now the work begins developing plans and hiring officials and staff.

“We’re going to be focusing on how we can adequately fund our education system. We want to focus on not just K-12, but also vocational and higher education. We want to make sure that we create jobs in our state and that’s something that’s very important looking at infrastructure in a capital bill,” Stratton said.

Pritzker campaigned hard for State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a likely candidate for Chicago mayor. WGN asked if he might try to influence the race.

Tahman Bradley: Do you think she would be a good mayor of Chicago? How much money are you going to give her?
Pritzker: Well, I’m not getting involved in the mayoral race here. I’m going to work with whoever the next mayor of the city of Chicago is.
Bradley: No endorsement then?
Pritzker: I’m not getting involved in the race.

Pritzker will visit Springfield in the coming days.

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