Kurt Summers not running for governor, endorses J.B. Pritzker

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Billionaire J.B. Pritzker received an important endorsement on Wednesday in his campaign for governor of Illinois.

Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers is a prominent African-American and he's throwing his support to Pritzker.

Summers announced he is taking his name out of the governor's race, leaving the field of Democratic candidates without an African-American candidate but, Summers believes Pritzker has the black community's back.

"We need our voices to be heard and we can no longer be taken for granted and I know with J.B. Pritzker we have a seat at the table," Summers said.

Claiming no promises were made by Pritzker, Summers joined a list of black-elected officials who are endorsing him. Third Ward Alderman Pat Dowell said even if Summers decided to run, her loyalties remained with Pritzker.

"I've spent a lot of hours talking to J.B. about the needs of my community and I feel he is the best candidate to address those needs," Dowell said.

The African-American vote is crucial for a Democratic primary win. The Summers Pritzker endorsement is likely to be at the expense of candidate Chris Kennedy.

"If J.B. Pritzker can corral the majority of black elected officials early in the game that makes him very formidable," Laura Washington said.

While Kennedy is part of the political dynasty, which has a history of strong African American support, Summers believes he lacks the best vision for Illinois.

"I don't believe that he has a true understanding of the needs of the underprivileged and communities of color in particular," Summers said.

In a written response released on Wednesday, Kennedy said, "This race is not about politicians endorsing other politicians or what might be happening behind closed doors. This race is about restoring the promise of the American dream to the people of Illinois."

Besides Kennedy, State Senator Daniel Biss, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar and Madison County School Superintendent Bob Daiber are vying for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Summers said he wants to remain the city treasurer
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