Pritzker wins backing of Cook County Dems for 2018 governor bid

It went down like it always does, a committee gathered in the back of a restaurant, in private, and made their pick for 2018.

Today, a giant boost for J.B. Pritzker in his bid for governor.

The billionaire won the backing of the Cook County Democratic Party.

Before the decision, Pritzker made one last pitch.

"I'm here humbly asking for your endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party. It's why I came the first time, the second time. Now this time," said Pritzker.

Pritzker is one of eight Democrats running in the March primary. With so many in the race, there was a big push for the party not to endorse.

"I am here today to strongly encourage you to support an open primary in 2018," said State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston.

Also before the endorsement, committeemen asked each candidate if he'll stay in the race. Businessman Chris Kennedy, son of the late Bobby Kennedy, is desperately trying to right his ship after a slow start. He vowed to keep fighting.

"I would not drop out. Is that clear? Ok. Kennedy's don't quit and I'd rather face the voters than my own mother," said Kennedy.

Two-thirds of the committeemen voted to back Pritzker while other raised concerns. Some worry this is 2016 all over again when the national party cleared the way for Hillary Clinton.

"I think it's a mistake. I think we haven't learned from our mistakes. When the party tries to anoint a candidate, when we fight the will of the voters that means we're a weaker partner," said Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward).

Those who backed Pritzker say this was not a mistake and was not old-style Chicago politics.

"Most of our committeemen felt that J.B. Pritzker should be our nominee to run against Rauner. So the majority speaks. That's the way life has always been," said Joseph Berrios, Chairman Democratic Party of Cook County.

No change today. The billionaire candidate will now get party money and resources.