Pritzker and Bailey spar in spirited first Illinois gubernatorial debate

Governor J.B. Pritzker, Darren Bailey
Gov. JB Pritzker, Darren Bailey Photo credit Getty Images

NORMAL (WBBM NEWSRADIO) - The first of two statewide televised debates had both camps declaring victory, as Gov. JB Pritzker and State Sen. Darren Bailey met Thursday night at Illinois State University in Normal.

Nexstar Broadcasting put on the debate, airing on TV stations that included WGN Channel 9 in Chicago.

Pritzker said Illinois’ abortion laws are now exactly where he wants them, while Bailey complained about Illinois having the most liberal abortion laws in the nation, adding Pritzker lies awake at night trying to think of ways to make them even more liberal.

Bailey argued for repeal of the criminal justice “Safe-T Act.”

“Do the police not know what they’re talking about? Because, these actions that he took, guess what they’re going to do? They’re going to raise property taxes because he took away their training,” Bailey said.

While Pritzker, having said earlier the legislation needed one or more “tweaks,” failed to name even one change he wanted to make.

“Again, I think there are clarifications that can be made in the law to make sure that everyone understands what this law is all about,” Pritzker said.

The governor bragged about eliminating the bill backlog, presiding over credit upgrades, and signing four balanced budgets, while Bailey touted “zero-based budgeting.”

The one-hour debate included several instances of both men talking over one another.

Another debate is scheduled for Oct. 18 in Chicago on the same Nexstar stations.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images