Gubernatorial Candidates Sharpen Attacks During Televised Debate - NBC Chicago
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Gubernatorial Candidates Sharpen Attacks During Televised Debate

Biss and Kennedy still looking to overtake Pritzker

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    Gubernatorial Candidates Sharpen Attacks Before Final Debate

    Friday was a big night in the race for governor of Illinois as the Democratic candidates tangled in one of the last debates before Election Day. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Friday, March 2, 2018)

    Friday was a big night in the race for governor of Illinois as the Democratic candidates tangled in one of the last debates before Election Day.

    JB Pritzker, who has put $56 million into the contest, leads in the polls. But Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss are looking for an upset.

    The issues ranged from gun violence to job creation.

    When it comes to gun violence, JB Pritzker puts the blame at Gov. Bruce Rauner's door, never mentioning Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    "During the 3 years of Bruce Rauner’s leadership of the state, that the number of violent crimes on the street, has gone up substantially," he said.

    Kennedy, impacted personally by gun violence, says you can't police your way out of the crisis.

    "You can have all the police protection in the world, you can still have secret service protection and you can still be the victim of violence, I know that’s true in my family," he said. "We also need to provide opportunity. Opportunity is the enemy of violence."

    As for job creation? Biss says Kennedy and Pritzker do not have all the answers.

    "We have two guys in this primay, JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy, who are going to tell us, because of their experience as wealthy businessmen, they know how to create jobs in the state of Illinois, let’s not make that mistake again."

    One day after not knowing the price of a monthly CTA pass -- Biss turns that into a Pritzker attack.

    "I learned that when JB Pritzker’s campaign spends $17,000 a day, to try to buy this nomination, they’re buying slightly over $1,600 monthly CTA passes."

    Kennedy, whose campaign donations are on the rise, looks to separate himself from Biss when asked about recruiting Amazon to Chicago.

    "I wouldn't give the sweetheart deals that Daniel Biss has voted for groups like sears or the mercantile exchange," he said.

    “Should we offer incentives?" Pritzker asked. "Look. It is unfortunate that we live in a world where municipalities and states are competing against one another, but we need to offer incentives, and then the return on investment for the state of Illinois should be spread throughout the state.”

    Where does it all stand? Pritzker ahead, but not by a large margin. With 18 days to go, this is still a horse race.