Candidates in Final Push Ahead of Illinois Primary

Undecideds could determine Democrat outcome

Gertie Williams was still deciding on whom to cast her ballot for as she walked into an early voting site in the 8500 block of South Kedzie. Ashley Martin was in the same boat. “I’m a big of a wildcard like that,” she said.

They are not alone. As J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss, the leading candidates in the Democratic primary for governor, pitch their closing arguments, a large percentage of voters appear to be trying to make up their minds.

A poll released by Victory Research shows 16% of Democratic voters undecided.

And so, on Sunday both Pritzker and Kennedy made the time-honored election day trek to churches.

At Providence Missionary Baptist Church, a 93-year old South Side institution, music filled the air as Kennedy shook hands and then sang the praises of the late Mayor Harold Washington.

“When I moved here it was the coolest city in America,” Kennedy said. “Harold Washington was mayor.” Chicago, he said, is not the same city today.

Pritzker appeared at Greater Bethlehem Healing Temple, though his campaign said no cameras were allowed inside. Outside Pritzker, accompanied by Secretary of State Jesse White, pushed his closing argument.

“It’s time for a governor who can get big things done for working families,” Pritzker said.

The nearly $70 million dollars Pritzker has spent on his campaign has been a dominant issue. And Sunday, Kennedy charged Pritzker has used his money to stifle debate.

“It’s being used to blot out the argument to buy up the airways so that the discourse doesn’t occur,” Kennedy said. “I think people are sick of Mr. Pritzker’s use of the airways to do that.”

Pritzker said the race began with Governor Bruce Rauner writing his campaign a $50 million check. “The money that I have had to spend, “ he said, “I believe Illinois is worth it. That we need to save it from Bruce Rauner.

Rauner spent his Sunday campaigning downstate. Meantime his challenger, state senator Jeanne Ives, criticized the $75 million dollar Rauner campaign.

“He thinks he can use his money to spread lies about me,” she said, “to put him back into office and that’s pathetic.”

State Sen. Daniel Biss spent his Sunday campaigning in Rockford churches as the candidates look for every vote, including that if Ashley Martin who when asked today if she is the ultimate undecided voter replied, “I am, I am at this point.”

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