No town too small, Pritzker visits Southwest suburbs
Gov. Pritzker stumps for votes in tiny Hodgkins
By Steve Metsch
It’s not often the governor of Illinois knocks on your front door.
But such was the case Thursday afternoon in the 8800 block of Lyons Street in Hodgkins at the home of Joanna Filkins.
Filkins’ house was one of a few Gov. J.B. Pritzker visited after delivering speech to supporters gathered outside Buck’s Pit Stop, a popular restaurant in the village. The two chatted for a few minutes. A former Chicagoan, Filkins, 49, told Pritzker she’s lived in Hodgkins for 22 years.
He talked of how he and his wife were the opposite, starting their family in Evanston before moving into the city.
“It’s nice to spend time with you,” Pritzker said in closing.
“Thank you for coming and thank you for visiting our sweet little town,” said Filkins, a secretary at the village hall.
She appreciated the visit.
“He does have good values and I appreciate all the work he’s done so far,” she said.
And the big question?
“I’ll think about it,” she said when asked if Pritzker has her vote on Tuesday.
“Regardless of who you believe in and who you’re going to vote for, the fact that governor of your state came to your town and visited your home is pretty spectacular,” she said.
She did allow State Senate candidate Mike Profirio to place a Pritzker sign in her front lawn.
Earlier, Profirio and State Rep. candidate Abdelnasser Rashid spoke briefly before Prizker took the stage.
During his speech of just under 10 minutes, Pritzker addressed issues that concern voters.
“I’m running for re-election because, honestly, we had years of mismanagement in the state of Illinois,” he said referring to former Gov. Bruce Rauner.
With that in mind, he said there have been four years of balanced budgets and six credit upgrades for the state.
“I increased the number of state police. Don’t believe what my opponent says. I did that starting on Day One in office. This year alone, we have 300 cadets we’re adding to our state police,” Pritzker said.
State-of-the-art crime labs have ended a backlog of 2,000 rape kits that existed in the state, he said.
He addressed those fake newspapers distributed by the GOP for his opponent, Darren Bailey.
“It’s all BS,” Pritzker said. “What they’re talking about in that newspaper, about letting people out of jail on Jan. 1, that’s not in the law. … They’ve made this up.”
The Safe-T law includes a gang crime witness protection program to keep people safe, he said: “That’s important if you want to solve crime.”
“I believe every single violent criminal should be kept in jail until they get their trial,” he said.
Regarding education, Pritzker said there were five credit downgrades for state universities under Rauner.
“I increased the amount of state scholarships by 50 percent. That’s $200 million more for people to go to college,” he said.
Vocational training is important for those who aren’t cut out for traditional college, he said.
“So, we’ve increased the amount of money available to schools for vocational training,” Pritzker said.
“My opponent, Darren Bailey, wants to cut education funding. You know that will do? Raise your property taxes. He’s used to doing that. … We need to lower property taxes in the state,” he said.
With Election Day drawing near, he encouraged those attending to get out and vote, be it early voting or on Tuesday. And to bring a friend to the polling place.
“Illinois should be sending a signal that we’re a state that stands up for fiscal responsibility, for education and for fighting crime,” he added.
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