40s 2020 Quentin Fulks | Chicago Business & Financial News & Analysis

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You might say Gov. J.B. Pritzker has given him control of his future—and open access to his checkbook. But then Quentin Fulks, an African American man who’s rising fast in the still largely white male-dominated fraternity of big-league campaign managers, came well recommended—by Pritzker.

31 years old

Chairman, executive director

Vote Yes for Fairness

Fulks headed Vote Yes for Fairness, the ballot initiative committee that spent a ton of Pritzker’s money to try to pass his gradated income tax amendment on Nov. 3. It didn’t pass, certainly complicating Pritzker’s political future. But Fulks suggests the state hasn’t heard the last of the issue, one way or another.

”Moving Illinois toward tax fairness while funding important priorities in every community is the work our coalition has been doing for years,” he said the morning after the election. “We will continue."

Fulks says he’s always had a yen for politics and may run for office himself one day. Perhaps that comes from growing up in a small south Georgia town just a few miles from Plains, home of former President Jimmy Carter. Carter’s niece was Fulks’ high school English teacher, and it wasn’t unusual for the president to bicycle by or drop in.

Staying in Georgia was not in the cards, though. Fulks moved to Washington, D.C., earned a master’s degree in political science at American University and was hired by ranking House Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer. Not long after, he met and began working closely with Anne Caprara (now Pritzker’s chief of staff), first at left-leaning political groups such as Emily’s List and Priorities USA, then as her chief deputy when she moved to Illinois to run Pritzker’s campaign against former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Fulks ran the ballot campaign "independent of me and Anne," says Pritzker. "He essentially was COO of my gubernatorial campaign. When you really needed to get something done, Quentin was the guy."

Fulks and Caprara remain tight. Except on football. "He thinks Tom Brady is a legendary QB. I think he’s a cheating has-been," Caprara says. "The Tom Brady thing is a big divide."

Fulks has other things on his mind now. For one, he just bought a home in Chicago. For another, he’s getting used to being in a position of influence. "It’s hard to bring our life experiences to the table if you’re not at the table," he says. Now he is.

—Greg Hinz
Photo by John R. Boehm

via Crain’s Chicago Business https://ift.tt/1mywUHL

November 6, 2020 at 09:02AM

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