By AARON GETTINGER
President Barack Obama endorsed his successor in the Illinois Senate, Kwame Raoul (D-13) today, alongside J.B. Pritzker and State Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-5) for Illinois Governor and Lieutenant Governor and 78 additional federal, state and down-ballot candidates nationwide.
“I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates — leaders as diverse, patriotic and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent,” said Obama in a statement. “I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law.”
Obama said, “But first, they need our votes — and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”
Raoul, who lives in Hyde Park–Kenwood, succeeded Obama his election to the US Senate in 2004. Raoul thanked his predecessor on Twitter, calling him “a great President” and adding “Yes we can!”
Obama has long maintained a relationship with the wealthy and politically active Pritzker family, who own the Hyatt hotel chain. Penny Pritzker, J.B.’s sister, served as his second-term Secretary of Commerce. Stratton is serving her first term in the Illinois House of Representatives, representing a district that spans from River North through the Loop and Bronzeville to Washington Park and Greater Grand Crossing.
Obama also endorsed three Illinois Democratic congressional candidates challenging incumbent Republicans: Sean Casten in the west and northwest suburban 6th District, Brendan Kelly in the western Little Egypt and the Metro East suburban 12th District and Lauren Underwood in the west and north exurban Chicagoland 14th District.