For years, Democrats have tried to cajole Chris Kennedy into running statewide in Illinois, hoping that the wealthy son of the late Robert F. Kennedy could parlay his exalted family name into high office. So when Kennedy finally announced a bid for governor in February, comparisons to Camelot abounded. He took the early lead in polling and drew an almost immediate endorsement from a coalition of county chairmen in Southern Illinois.
Now, three months later, Kennedy has fallen out of favor with key labor groups and powerful forces within the Democratic establishment. And he’s facing a roadblock that’s unfamiliar to his family: pressure to drop out of the race.
There’s mounting evidence that powerful Democratic players in the state — from House Speaker Michael Madigan to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — are steering unions, interest groups or politicians to throw their support behind billionaire J.B. Pritzker, the brother of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
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