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CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s official. Putting an end to months of speculation, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday he is running for re-election, unveiling a campaign ad touting his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois.

“From the beginning, JB Pritzker knew we faced a serious threat,” the video’s narrator says.

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The three-minute campaign ad shows snippets of Pritzker speaking COVID briefings, and highlights the state’s efforts to get people vaccinated.

The video juxtaposes the first-term Democrat’s handling of the pandemic against former President Donald Trump’s much-maligned response to COVID-19.

“In Washington, science took a back seat to politics, but in Illinois we knew the stakes were too high,” the narrator says.

The ad also features the slogan “Strong Leadership In Tough Times.”

“When I ran for governor four years ago, I could not have imagined that I would end up leading the state through a global pandemic,” Pritzker says in the video. “I may not have gotten every decision right, but at every step along the way, I followed the science, and focused on protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people of Illinois.”

Pritzker’s announcement is hardly a surprise. While he’s been cagey in recent months when asked whether he planned to run for a second term, in March the billionaire donated $35 million to his campaign fund.

Illinois State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia), who unsuccessfully sued to block some of Pritzker’s COVID-19 restrictions last year, is among four Republicans who have announced they plan to run for governor in 2022.

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Former Illinois State Sen. Paul Schimpf, Illinois Army veteran and former police officer Christopher Roper, and businessman Gary Rabine also are running.

Source: CBS Chicago

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