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Governor of Illinois: Pritzker v. Bailey

Governor J. B. Pritzker is seeking a second term against Republican Sen. Darren Bailey. Both Bailey, a farmer from southern Illinois, and the Democratic governor accuse each other of being too extreme for Illinois.

With control of a Democratic majority in the General Assembly, Pritzker spent four years pushing through major initiatives, starting with an overdue $45 billion capital construction plan, a $15-an-hour minimum wage, legalizing recreational marijuana, and then cutting tens of billions of dollars in debt. In addition, he has spent much of the second half of his term fighting COVID-19 and facing criticism, led by his current opponent Bailey, over his measures to stop the spread of the potentially deadly disease.

The 57-year-old billionaire investor and philanthropist is touting those achievements in his second-term bid against Bailey, a Republican and farmer from southern Illinois.

Bailey, who received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump during the Republican primary, attacked Pritzker on issues such as government spending and crime, calling Chicago a “hellhole” and pushing for criminal justice reform that would eliminate cash bail, which he claims would create “revolving doors” in prisons for violent criminals.

Pritzker denies that Bailey, 56, who served one term in the House of Representatives before winning a Senate seat in 2020, is too extreme for Illinois, embracing Trump’s MAGA movement, opposing any restrictions on firearm ownership and favoring a ban on abortion , although Bailey says abortion restrictions are not on his agenda.

Ideas matter. Also money. As of Sept. 30, state campaign finance records showed that Pritzker had $42 million in his campaign account. Bailey had $767,000. Being on the wrong side of this funding imbalance makes it difficult to get your ideas across to voters.


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