In recent weeks, Governor Bruce Rauner's re-election campaign has sought to make political hay over wiretapped conversations from 2008 between Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker and then Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Chicago Tribune has released additional portions of the conversation, mostly focusing on race. Pritzker recommends Secretary of State Jesse White as a possible choice for the U.S. Senate seat that former President Obama was vacating at the time.
Pritzker went on to tout the benefits of White's potential departure from the Secretary of State's office.
Pritzker apologized during a press conference where he was joined by Secretary White. He told reporters he was not "his best self". He also apologized to former Senate President Emil Jones in a phone call because he told Blagojevich Jones would be a poor choice for U.S. Senate because "he's more crass". Pritzker's Democratic rival Chris Kennedy labeled Pritzker’s comments “disqualifying.” State Sen. Daniel Biss said the conversation represents “everything that’s wrong with the connection between money and power.”