Pritzker, Rauner, to make joint appearance at bicentennial


(Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS), (Daily file photo by Colin Boyle)

Left: Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in August 2016. Right: Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker speaks at an event.

Kristina Karisch, City Editor

To commemorate the Illinois bicentennial, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker will be making a joint appearance at the state’s 200th birthday celebration.

The party will mark 200 years since Illinois was founded on Dec. 3, 1818, becoming the 21st state to join the Union. Following the Nov. 6 election, both Pritzker and Rauner have been emphasizing state unity. Pritzker won the election ahead of Rauner, the incumbent, by a margin of 15 points.

Both Pritzker and Rauner’s campaigns were marked by controversy, and each used the election cycle as an opportunity to criticize the other’s policy proposals and past actions.

In a news release, Pritzker emphasized that residents of all backgrounds will celebrate the bicentennial as “one Illinois.”

“We are the land of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, home to the world’s leading companies and universities, an economic powerhouse of the Midwest and agriculture powerhouse of our country,” Pritzker said in the release. “Together, we will ring in our third century with hope and optimism and strive to build on the progress of the 200 years before us.”

Rauner echoed Pritzker’s statement, saying the state should view its 200-year anniversary as an opportunity to look to the future.

“There is no better place to start uniting than at an event that celebrates the greatness of Illinois,” Rauner said. “The state possesses a legacy of invention, persistence and economic vitality. This is the time to reflect on those assets and come together to put them to work for the people of Illinois.”

The bicentennial celebration will be hosted on Dec. 3 at the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.

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