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Wiretap records Illinois governor hopeful's comments on race

Newly released FBI wiretaps captured Democratic Illinois governor candidate J.B. Pritzker telling then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich that a state lawmaker was the "least offensive" African American he could appoint to a U.S. Senate seat. (WICS File Photo)

Newly released FBI wiretaps captured Democratic Illinois governor candidate J.B. Pritzker telling then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich that a state lawmaker was the "least offensive" African American he could appoint to a U.S. Senate seat.

The Chicago Tribune published the previously unreleased recording from a decade-old investigation of Blagojevich late Monday. Blagojevich is now imprisoned for convictions that included trying to trade an appointment to Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat for campaign cash.

On the recording, Pritzker suggests Blagojevich appoint Secretary of State Jesse White rather than other African Americans. He says doing so "covers you on the African American thing."

Pritzker also is heard laughing as Blagojevich jokes about appointing Obama's minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Pritzker told the Tribune he's supported many minority candidates. He's scheduled a Tuesday news conference.


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