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Chicago Democrats Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker. 0

The long days of summer and campaigning

June 22nd, 2017

There are 503 days until the Nov. 6, 2018 election for Illinois governor. That’s enough time to have a baby and celebrate a few infant milestones. It’s longer than the Spanish-American War and the Persian Gulf War, too.

“It’s a little surprising. Usually a primary campaign doesn’t get going until mid-summer or fall,” Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker told me after returning from a campaign road trip the other day to Grundy County. He says the number of attendees at political events “has swelled” since a year ago during the presidential cycle.

Businessman Chris Kennedy, another Democratic contender, is seeing the same phenomenon.

In April, when Kennedy spoke to McDonough County Democrats, organizers said the 250-plus crowd was the largest in the dinner’s 31-year history. In a speech last month at Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago, some 150 people attended–and that was on a Tuesday at 1 in the afternoon.

Kennedy and Pritzker say the early start to the race shows dissatisfaction with Republicans Gov. Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump.

The question will be whether candidates can maintain the momentum for the long hall.

State Sen. Daniel Biss, Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar and a few others are also vying for the Democratic nomination.

The primary is March 20, 2018. That’s 271 long days away.

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