Illinois Governor JB Pritzker: ‘Hate is on the ballot’


Ashanti Thomas

Dave Seiler and other members in the audience cheer and raise up their signs as JB Pritzker, the current governor of Illinois, enters the room of the Charleston Library.

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker visited Charleston on Thursday at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library on his way down to the DuQuoin State Fair.

While Pritzker was at the library, an event hosted by the Coles County Democrats, Pritzker urged Democrats in Coles County to vote in the upcoming general election because of what the future may look like for Democrats following the election.

“I’m so excited for this election because I know we can win, but it’s going to be a fight,” Pritzker said. “… Hate is on the ballot in Illinois this year. Hate has no place in Illinois.”

Pritzker went on to say what could occur if the Democrats lose the election in November. 

“Because if we lose these elections in Illinois and across the country, if we lose these elections,” Pritzker said. “It sets up the takeover of our country by people like Darren Bailey; he’s not alone. They’re in Pennsylvania, they’re in Wisconsin, they’re in Arizona. The people who want to tear down our country, the people who don’t believe in lifting up working families, they only believe in power. That’s it. They’re all about power, and we have to defeat that. We have to defeat it now or else we face it in 2024 in the presidential election.”

Mac White, chairperson of the Coles County Democrats and TV production operations coordinator at Eastern, was happy with the results of Pritzker’s visit.

“Very happy, very satisfied,” White said. “Holy heck, it went unbelievably well. I was so nervous. I think it was an A plus.”

White also urged Eastern students to vote on Nov. 8.

“As Governor Pritzker said, this is the most important election of our lifetimes, and I agree with him 100 percent,” White said. “And I will be helping EIU students register to vote.”

During the event, Pritzker highlighted some of the initiatives he and Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton have worked on in the three and a half years of their first term in office.

“When I came into office, MAP Grants had been cut,” Pritzker said. “We increased MAP Grants in the state by $200 million. That means that everybody that is eligible for a MAP Grant, and this didn’t used to be the case, everybody that is eligible for a MAP Grant and applies gets one.”

Another initiative Pritzker and Stratton passed was a requirement for all seniors in high school to fill out the FAFSA forms.

“Because many kids across the state never filled it out,” Pritzker said. “Didn’t know that they were eligible for a Pell grant or didn’t know they were eligible for financing to go to college, so they never filled it out and never went to college.”

Pritzker said because of the new requirement of high school seniors, Illinois would see higher enrollment numbers in colleges throughout the state.

“This year more applications for higher [education] in Illinois than there ever has been before,” Pritzker said. “And we’re about to see more enrollment in our colleges across the state of Illinois.”


Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].