Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker was not exactly excited to pick up this week’s Reader and see himself in exaggerated caricature form sitting on top of a lawn jockey. Nope. He characterized the cover illustration by artist Greg Houston as “not the right approach.”

“Well, I guess I knew they intended to be provocative at the Reader, but I think this is not the right approach,” he said while addressing a seniors’ luncheon hosted by Captain’s Hard Time Dining & Josephine’s Cooking soul food restaurant on 79th Street. ABC 7 reporter Craig Wall, who attended the luncheon, quoted Pritzker in a tweet this afternoon.

Meanwhile Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward alderman and chairman of the council’s black caucus, accused the Reader of “race-baiting” with this week’s cover. He told Wall that the illustration was “offensive to whoever looks at it” and demanded that the Reader apologize though he also admitted that he hadn’t actually read the articles yet.

Reader executive editor Mark Konkol responded in a statement: “Today’s Reader included a variety of opinions about J.B. Pritzker’s wiretapped interaction with former governor Rod Blagojevich, including the candidate’s own statements in his defense. Alderman Sawyer is entitled to his opinion. We stand by our decision to engage readers on important issues of the day by producing journalism and social commentary that gets people talking.”