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Illinois Governor Pritzker Spars with Republican Rival Bailey on Crime, Economy

  • Incumbent Pritzker and nominee Bailey face off in first debate
  • Democratic governor and state senator disagree on many issues
JB Pritzker, left, and Darren Bailey during the Illinois Governor’s Debate on Oct. 6.
JB Pritzker, left, and Darren Bailey during the Illinois Governor’s Debate on Oct. 6.Photographer: Ron Johnson/Pool Illinois State University/AP Photo

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Republican challenger Darren Bailey repeatedly clashed on matters such as the state’s business climate, taxes and crime in their first televised debate, underscoring the stark choice voters have in November.

The heated exchanges between the incumbent, a billionaire Democrat seeking a second term, and a conservative farmer from southern Illinois reflected the culture wars raging in the US ahead of the midterms. Pritzker emphasized the state’s financial improvements, a $1.8 billion tax relief package for residents and his support for reproductive rights