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Pritzker Sees Bigger Role For Lt. Gov. Stratton

Juliana Stratton
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
In this file photo from 2017, state Rep. Juliana Stratton campaigns with J.B. Pritzker at a union rally in Springfield.

With two weeks until Illinois’ inauguration day, Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is still filling key roles in his administration. He’s departing from tradition by including his lieutenant governor among them.

Lt. Gov.-elect Juliana Stratton says Pritzker has always seen her as a full partner.

“I’ll be supporting the governor-elect — at that time the governor — in any way that’s helpful,” Stratton says. “We’re getting a lot of ideas from our transition committees, and my portfolio will be further defined.”

Stratton, a state representative from Chicago, will begin by heading a newly created Office of Criminal Justice Reform and Economic Opportunity.

Pritzker echoes Stratton’s description of herself as a “full partner.”

“I have no doubt that her portfolio is going to be more robust than lieutenant governors I think that I can remember,” Pritzker says.

The last few lieutenant governors have not exactly had what you’d call thick portfolios.

Current officeholder Evelyn Sanguinetti did lead a review of how Illinois might consolidate its many local units of government. She and her predecessor also presided over the Rivers Coordinating Council and the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council.

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