'At Issue' dissects Illinois primary, looks ahead to November gubernatorial race

J.B. Pritzker and Darren Bailey
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left; state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia. Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Tuesday's primary election set up a race for Illinois governor that pits the Democratic incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker against downstate lawmaker Darren Bailey.

Some are saying that Pritzker paid to get the opponent he wanted.

Political analyst Andy Shaw considered it sleazy, but Pritzker and the Democratic Governors’ Association ran ads that called the Donald Trump-backed challenger Darren Bailey “Too conservative for Illinois.” That was a positive among GOP voters.

Channel 11 Political Reporter Heather Cherone, though, questioned whether slyly helping Bailey was a good move for Pritzker. If, for example, Pritzker really believes that Bailey’s a danger to reproductive rights, Cherone asked, then why elevate him.

Shaw said that now the real battle comes.

“Pritzker’s out already on the stump talking about all the wonderful things he’s done for people and how much money we spent on good causes,” Shaw said. “He should mention — and Bailey should also remind people — that most of this money comes from the federal government in COVID-related bail-out dollars.”

In other words, one-time funding.

Primary donations helped Bailey beat the highly funded campaign of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, but Cherone said that’s not all that went wrong with Irvin’s campaign.

“He really never took a significant amount of questions from reporters until it was clear that he was trailing Darren Bailey badly,” Cherone said.

We’ll look back on the 2022 primaries and look ahead to November on our “At Issue” program this weekend. You can hear more Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

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