An Illinois union leader campaigning for the state's Democratic gubernatorial nominee was caught on video encouraging a crowd to "vote early, vote often, whatever you can get away with."
Totsy Bailey, president of Local 439 Steamfitters/Pipefitters Union, told those gathered at the Caseyville rally Saturday that they have a "great candidate for governor" in JB Pritzker, KMOV-TV reported. Pritzker is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"He's gonna win. He's gonna win big," Bailey said of Pritzker. "But he won't win if we do not get out and vote. We need to early vote. Like I say, we can play East St. Louis route ... vote early, vote often, whatever you can get away with. I shouldn't say that, but I really don't care."
Laughter was heard in the crowd following his statements.
KMOV said when Bailey was reached for comment, he said he didn't have one and then abruptly hung up his phone.
Pritzker along with Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois spoke at the rally, but the station said neither addressed Bailey's comments, citing multiple sources.
How did Pritzker's campaign react?
KMOV added that it also reached out to Pritzker and Durbin for comment but that only Pritzker's spokeswoman, Jordan Abudayyeh, responded so far.
“Voting is no joking matter, particularly in an election with so much at stake," Abudayyeh told the station. "Illinois can’t afford another four years of failure from Bruce Rauner, and JB is proud to be running on real plans to get Illinois back on track. Whether during early voting starting September 27th or on Election Day, JB encourages all Illinoisans who are able to exercise their right to vote.”