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Chaos Reigns in First Faceoff Between Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidates

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This week, GOP candidates in the running for the Illinois gubernatorial nomination sparred during a Chicago Tribune Editorial Board session, the first meeting of all six candidates in the primary. In an increasingly tight race, it’s no surprise that the faceoff was chaotic, messy, and downright ugly.

Some highlights:

  • Darren Bailey called Aurora under Mayor Richard Irvin “the highest taxed city in the nation” with a “ridiculous pension problem,” and accused Aurora under Irvin of downgrading crimes as civil violations to make the city look safer.

  • Jesse Sullivan slammed Irvin’s “scorched-earth campaign” and accused him of “treating the conservative base like they’re idiots.”

  • Darren Bailey put Irvin on blast, saying: “all he really wants to talk about is trashing each one of us around this table.”

  • …and as usual, Irvin ducked, dodged, and deflected questions about his support for Trump (or lack thereof).

What could’ve been a critical opportunity for the candidates to distinguish themselves turned into a mud-slinging, name-calling mess. And with just under six weeks until the primary, the chaos isn’t showing any signs of stopping.

“With the primary fast approaching, the GOP field is in complete disarray,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “The Republicans’ messy infighting means the race is still a total toss-up. But no matter who wins the nomination, we know one thing: they don’t have Illinoisans best interests at heart.”