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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.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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