By GREG BISHOP
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF WRITER
(The Center Square) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday denied ever talking about running for president.
The New York Times reported with declining poll numbers for President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party is looking at other options. The paper reports Gov. Pritzker, a Democrat, “has talked privately about his interest in seeking the White House at some point should the opportunity arise.”
At an unrelated news conference Tuesday, Gov. Pritzker was peppered with questions about the report.
“Look, folks, I think I’ve been pretty clear about this,” he said. “I want to be governor of Illinois, I want to continue to be governor of Illinois. I’m doing the job that I love.”
He denied that he has ever spoken about being interested in the White House.
“I have never spoken privately with anybody or publicly about that, first of all, and second, I love my job as governor of Illinois and I intend to keep doing it on behalf of the working families of Illinois,” he said.
The questions continued, but Mr. Pritzker repeatedly denied he’s seeking any other office other than governor.
“I am focused on this job,” Gov. Pritzker said. “I love this job. I really love the job of being governor, and I’m going to continue to do it as long as I can.”
If Gov. Pritzker were to seek the 2024 presidential nomination, it would be in the middle of a possible second term, if he were to be re-elected as governor next year. He dismissed any other outcome as “hypothetical” and again denied he ever brought forward the issue.
“There are of course people who have mentioned this to me on occasion, but I have never had a conversation with anybody about it,” Gov. Pritzker said.
Gov. Pritzker could face opposition from a Republican contender in next year’s gubernatorial election.
New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin tweeted “Here we go, folks” amid a flurry of tweets about Gov. Pritzker’s denials on Tuesday.
A New York Times spokesperson said the newspaper stands by its reporting.
“We’re confident in the accuracy of our story, which also includes a rebuttal by Gov. Pritzker’s spokesperson,” the New York Times spokesperson said in an email to the Center Square.