The 'anti-DeSantis': How Illinois' governor is going head-to-head with the GOP's rising star

J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic governor of Illinois, is going head-to-head with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — and contrasting the GOP star's agenda with an opposite one of his own, reported NBC News on Monday.

"DeSantis ... took issue with a draft Advanced Placement African American studies course in part because it included a unit on 'Black Queer Studies,'" reported NBC.

"Pritzker signed a law requiring that public schools teach 'the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.' He also signed into law a requirement that students learn Asian American history, making Illinois the first state to require it.

"DeSantis suspended a prosecutor who wouldn’t enforce Florida’s new abortion restriction. Pritzker has vociferously held up Illinois as a beacon to women seeking abortions. DeSantis is advocating to ease restrictions on gun ownership. Pritzker just helped push through a law banning so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."

Pritzker, who like DeSantis recently cruised to re-election for a second term, is making clear he wants that contrast to be known — including in his response to the Florida governor's controversial "Stop WOKE Act" that has led to teachers stripping school bookshelves empty while the law places everything under review for racial and LGBTQ content.

On Twitter, Pritzker responded, "Ron DeSantis's dangerous and hateful agenda has no place in Illinois. Banning books, playing politics with people's lives, and censoring history are antithetical to who we are. Every candidate hoping to hold public office in the land of Lincoln should condemn this event."

All of this comes as DeSantis is scheduled to appear in Illinois himself, where he will speak to a police group in Chicago, NBC noted.

DeSantis has been hyped by Republican insiders in D.C. as a potential alternative to Donald Trump for president in 2024, which has resulted in Trump going out of his way to attack the governor he once pushed into office with his 2018 endorsement.

DeSantis has teased his interest in running for president, including in an exclusive interview with conservative reporter Salena Zito, but hasn't formally announced yet. Polls are mixed about his chances, often showing him leading head-to-head matchups with Trump, but behind in a crowded field, which could be relevant as multiple other Republicans have expressed interest in joining the race.