Final Dem Debate For Illinois Governor Gets Heated - NBC Chicago
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Final Dem Debate For Illinois Governor Gets Heated

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    Final Dem Debate For Illinois Governor Gets Heated

    A heated final debate Wednesday night saw the leading contenders for the democratic nomination for governor tackle the issues--and one another. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018)

    The candidates have shared the same stage more than 30 times, but Wednesday night there was a far different mood.

    JB Pritzker seemed uncomfortable while Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss were ready to strike on the WTTW-hosted gubernatorial forum.

    Kennedy was critical of Pritzker's explanation after a new Chicago Tribune report disclosed Pritzker's off-shore companies, investments kept secret and untaxed.

    "So there's no tax avoidance here," Pritzker said. "All the assets that are going to charity are going to charity, all the assets that are not charitable are paying--and they're paying right here in the state of Illinois."

    But Kennedy was unaccepting.

    "What we don't know is what Mr. Pritzker is hiding," he said.

    Pritzker, who has self funded his campaign, criticized Biss's donors.

    "Are you kidding me?" Biss responded. "JB Pritzker has given $63 million to his campaign fund in an effort to buy this election."

    For the first time it was only the top three candidates on this stage. Kennedy took the opportunity to address Pritzker's attack ads that Kenney claims are false.

    "Look at me in the eyes," Kennedy said to Pritzker--who avoided eye contact. "I want to let you know I'm not for that, please stop running those lies."

    The candidates were also asked if they supported Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios -- who's in a tough re-election with voters upset over property taxes.

    "I'm not revealing who I voted for or who I'm supporting in that race," Pritzker said. "Because I don't think we should be getting involved in democratic primaries--we're running one ourselves."

    Clearly it was not Pritzker's best night, especially when peppered with questions by reporters after the debate on his off shore investments. He walked away without answering.

    The debate winner was Chris Kennedy, but with only five days to go, the question is: will it make a difference?

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