AP

Illinois’ governor race echoes U.S. abortion, crime debates

Sep 30, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:19 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned that his Republican opponent is a far-right politician who would take the state backward while state Sen. Darren Bailey asked voters to consider whether the Democratic incumbent’s first term has improved their lives as the two candidates met for an online forum Friday.

The event hosted by the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors largely focused on questions of public safety, economics and abortion rights that have already dominated the campaign for months.

The Democrat is heavily favored in the race and spent millions on attacks against one of Bailey’s competitors in the June GOP primary. Bailey, a state senator from Xenia, dramatically increased his statewide profile in 2020 by becoming a top critic of Pritzker’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic – including refusing to wear a mask during legislative sessions.

The two candidates’ sharpest disagreements Friday came over a criminal justice package that in part eliminates cash bail while permitting judges to hold people charged with a variety of offenses until trial.

The broad package, known as the SAFE-T Act, also focused on law enforcement accountability. But the bail changes have been the source of widespread misinformation and accusations on the Illinois campaign trail this fall.

Bailey, who has called Chicago a “hellhole” and once supported a resolution seeking to make the city a separate state, repeated his demand that it be repealed or risk the rest of the state experiencing “the same havoc as what’s happening in the city of Chicago.” He also reiterated his support for eliminating the state’s gun licensing system, saying it doesn’t stop people from using guns illegally now.

Pritzker said he is open to considering some changes to the criminal justice package but accused Bailey of lying about its impact as a campaign tactic.

Pritzker, a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump during the coronavirus pandemic, repeatedly described Bailey as an extremist in line with Trump. He suggested the Republican would do away with some of Illinois’ most progressive pedigrees, including protection of abortion rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Bailey brushed off a direct question about whether he would sign an abortion ban into law, arguing that Democrats’ hold on Illinois’ Legislature is unlikely to change. He instead accused Pritzker of “fear mongering” on the issue.

“Nothing is changing,” Bailey said, adding that his focus would be on crime, business and education if elected governor.

Bailey rarely shied away from touting his support for Trump or his views on gun rights and abortion during the primary. But he softened his argument to replace Pritzker as the general election nears.

“People want their families and their friends and their businesses to be able to stay here and thrive in Illinois,” he said. “That’s not happening. And it’s gotten much worse over the last four years.”

The state’s newly shored-up financial status also dominated the 45-minute forum. Pritzker touted improvement in the state’s bond rating since he took office and four years without the devastating budget stalemates that helped the Democrat defeat Republican Bruce Rauner four years ago. He warned that electing Bailey could undo that progress.

“Illinois is finally heading in the right direction,” Pritzker said. “We’ve accomplished so much together ,and we have much more work to do.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

9 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

10 hours ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

1 day ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

2 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

2 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump agree to hold presidential debates in June and in September

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to hold two campaign debates, on June 27 hosted by CNN and on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Illinois’ governor race echoes U.S. abortion, crime debates