Pritzker said to be eyeing Kelly, Costello for appointments
Dwight Kay is convinced Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to own Springfield and is wasting little time putting his plan in action.
“The governor appears to be making a real effort to solidify the Democratic Party’s position of power in the state, and that includes the Metro East and southern Illinois,” Kay told the Metro East Sun. “He’s already put his plan in motion.”
Kay’s observations are at least partly fueled by growing talk that Pritzker is eyeing St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly for director of the Illinois State Police and Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton) as the next director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The situation involving Kelly appears to be further along than the one with Costello, with several Illinois State Police sources telling the Metro East Sun that talks about Kelly have already commenced with current department leadership.
Kay, who lost to incumbent Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) with 45 percent of the vote in his run in the 112th District in November, said he is not surprised to hear either name being floated around as potential appointments for the new administration.
“Both of those guys would be in lockstep with Pritzker from the very beginning,” he said. “I certainly see them being willing to do whatever they could do to further his cause and that of Democrats here in Illinois.”
As for speculation about Pritzker being motivated by his hope of rebuilding the Democratic Party around the southern Illinois area, Kay said he is not sure if either move is enough to get the job done, adding Costello's voting record in Springfield tells you everything you need to know about where he stands on critical issues.
“He’s a guy that used to be more independent but has grown more and more loyal to the Democratic Party over time,” he said. “His voting record speaks for itself and it reflects how he’s been totally unwilling to cross (House Speaker) Mike Madigan in Springfield. I always said, as a Democrat you can be independent in your rhetoric until Mike Madigan really wants your vote on something.”
Illinois’s 112th District includes Bethalto, Caseyville, Fairmont City, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Pontoon Beach, Roxana, Shiloh and Swansea.