It’s not the first time Pritzker has attacked DeSantis over cultural issues. Earlier this year, Pritzker denounced DeSantis for pressuring the College Board to make changes to the African American studies topic in its high school Advanced Placement history textbooks.
Pritzker lobbed similar criticisms at DeSantis during his second-term inauguration speech earlier this year, calling out DeSantis for anti-LGTBQ+ legislation. And Priztker made similar comments when the Florida governor made an appearance in Illinois at a February event in Elmhurst. And a few days after DeSantis’ visit, Pritzker vowed ”to keep DeSantis, Trump and the retrograde views that they carry out of the White House.”
While Pritzker has done most of the attacking, DeSantis has thrown a few barbs the other way. During that Elmhurst appearance, he dinged Pritzker for his COVID-19 lockdown policy and Illinois’ population loss.
An extra wrinkle to the affair: DeSantis has the support of another Pritzker nemesis, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin.
The ongoing battle is also something of a proxy battle for the national parties and, potentially, a 2028 presidential campaign. Both certainly have ambitions for higher office, though both have substantial obstacles. For DeSantis, he faces a bruising primary campaign against former President Donald Trump in his 2024 run. And any run for Pritzker is on hold in light of Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. The main difference: DeSantis is very much competing against Trump, while Pritzker is serving as an advocate for and adviser to Biden’s campaign.
Both, too, have challengers within their own parties beyond the 2024 cycle. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, also from that state, are two such figures in the Republican party. Meanwhile, Pritzker’s fellow leading Democratic governors, like Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California, figure to be in the mix for 2028.
The feud, then, is likely to continue — and even escalate — as the 2024 presidential election cycle approaches and Chicago hosts the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
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April 16, 2023 at 08:45AM