"Charismatic, electric and dynamic” are not words to describe Dan Hynes, Hynes said in a lighthearted moment during a debate hosted by the Union League Club of Chicago."But I'm not trying to be someone I'm not."
Those who cover him know that Hynes has a penchant for monotonous speeches.
His opponent at the debate, sitting governor Pat Quinn had some words of his own for Hynes' campaign advertisments, which claim Quinn will apply a 50-percent tax increase on Illinois families.
"He's trying to demonize me," Quinn said defending his 10-month record of executive service.
Besides trying to define their respective personalities, the candidates had few differences in the platforms.
Hynes said would like to see the CTA’s free rides for seniors back on the table for debate after Quinn balked at legislation that would have killed the free rides.
They both said Wednesday they have the best plan to fix the state's budget problems.
Quinn said the state's budget is “stable” because he's worked to fix the budget since taking over after Gov. Rod Blagojevich was ousted from office. And he claims he can find jobs for the Illinois' ranks of unemployed.
“I’m Mr. Soybean,” Quinn said. “I can find jobs.”
But Hynes accused Quinn of relying on the same "gimmicks" that got the state into a financial mess in the first place. He points to the state's $4 billion budget hole as evidence.
Both seem to be in favor of bringing up to 200 inmates from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to a prison in Thomson, Illinois as a way to generate jobs and revenue.
Quinn says that safety is paramount and Hynes says he trusts President Obama on the issue.
Hynes’ campaign is trying to make it easy to parse any of Quinn’s statements. He has a team of staffers on hand to fact-check whatever the governor says.
The debate at the Union League Club of Chicago is the first debate of the day between the two.
They'll square off again at an afternoon debate that's part of the Campaign for Better Health Care's annual meeting.
An earlier version of this story misquoted Hynes as saying Quinn was not "charismatic, electric or dynamic." NBCChicago regrets the error.