Governor candidate J.B. Pritzker on Monday visited a union hall in Marseilles to make his campaign's final pitch locally.
In the day before Tuesday's election, the Chicago billionaire denounced Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner as "the worst governor in the entire United States." Meanwhile, Pritzker largely ignored his two main opponents, businessman Chris Kennedy and state Sen. Daniel Biss, in Tuesday's Democratic primary.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Pritzker exited a Dodge minivan and walked into the Laborers Local 393 hall. A few dozen supporters were waiting.
Pritzker was with state Comptroller Susan Mendoza and Treasurer Michael Frerichs. The audience stood in a semi-circle and listened to Pritzker speak.
Pritzker has secured labor support and is largely believed to have the quiet backing of House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.
With an energized Democratic base, Pritzker didn't pass up the opportunity to compare Rauner to President Donald Trump.
"The only way Bruce Rauner could possibly win is to run the route Donald Trump ran in 2016. Bruce Rauner has a 30 percent approval rating, so you might say he couldn't possibly win in the general election," Pritzker told the local audience. "But Bruce Rauner has the same approval rating that Donald Trump had in 2016."
Pritzker noted Rauner has spent a lot of money running negative ads against Pritzker, even while the governor faces state Rep. Jeanne Ives in the GOP primary.
Rauner's strategy, Pritzker said, is to "trash" the Democrats.
"He's been doing that for three years straight. He has invaded the Democratic primary, and he has been trashing the Democrats (in that primary). Let me rephrase that. It's not accurate. He's been only trashing one Democrat, and that's me," Pritzker said. "I can take it."
He said Rauner is aiming his fire at him, because he is not worried about Kennedy or Biss.
"He knows he can't beat me or us in the general election," the billionaire said.
The goal of Rauner and the right-wing, Pritzker said, is to destroy labor unions and lower wages.
"I want to banish three words from the state of Illinois — right to work," Pritzker said to applause.
After the short speech, Pritzker took a few questions from local media. Asked how he would grade Madigan's performance over his decades as speaker, Pritzker didn't give a direct answer.
"As governor, you show up in Springfield and you work with whoever (the speaker) is," Pritzker said. "That's been the failure of Bruce Rauner — the unwillingness to sit down with someone he doesn't like or doesn't agree with.
"Every one of you here knows you had to sit down with someone you didn't like or didn't agree with and had to come up with an agreement," he said. "Bruce Rauner didn't do that. He walked out of the room and didn't compromise."