GOP's Governor Candidates Sling Mud, Too

Andy McKenna was a no show

By Andrew Greiner
|  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010  |  Updated 7:30 AM CDT
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Seeing Red: Republicans Who Could Reshape Illinois Politics

AP

A baby elephant takes a mud bath at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. The baby has not yet been named.

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Political infighting among governor's candidates isn't reserved for the Democrats, it seems.

During a debate Tuesday night, Republican candidates engaged in the same name-calling and belittiling of one another that has become the hallmark of the Dem. primary.

Bill Brady, Jim Ryan, Adam Andrzejewski, Dan Proft and Kirk Dillard used words like "untrustworthy," "soft," and "gimmicky" to describe their opponents on the dais.

But the worst of it was reserved for the guy who didn't show.

Andy McKenna's decision not to take part in the debate brought mockery from the other Republicans.

Dillard said he "went into the ground like a mole," to escape criticism that he used his time as Illinois GOP chair to position himself for a governor's run --- an ethical no-no.

A party investigation found that McKenna acted improperly when he commissioned a poll using GOP funds and included himself in the polling. He has apologized.

McKenna's campaign said he missed the debate because he was busy campaigning in central Illinois. The debate moderator, Phil Ponce, noted that WTTW-TV invited candidates to the event all the way back on Nov. 13.

Polls suggest McKenna, former attorney general  Ryan and state Sen. Dillard lead the field of six GOP candidates.

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