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First Full GOP Gubernatorial Debate Shows Chaotic, Messy Primary With No Clear Frontrunner

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Republican Nomination Still Up for Grabs

Tonight’s debate — the first between all six candidates sparring for the Republican gubernatorial nomination — showed a chaotic, messy primary with no clear frontrunner. With less than a month until the election, the six candidates have their work cut out for them to break out of the crowd in an increasingly tight race.

A few highlights:

  • As usual, Richard Irvin ducked and dodged questions left and right — and took hits from his opponents on his record (Bailey to Irvin: “I’m not interested in defeating you just because you’re a Democrat — I’m interested in defeating you because you’re a corrupt Democrat.”)

  • Darren Bailey leaned into his far-right, extremist views from abortion to COVID, staking his claim as the conservative candidate in the race.

  • The other four candidates were drowned out by intra-party fighting and messy attacks in a race to the far-right.

“In a night filled with dodged questions, messy attacks, and chaotic in-fighting, tonight’s debate showed the Republican candidates at their worst,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “The race has never been closer, and the Republican nomination is totally up for grabs. But Illinois voters know one thing: none of these candidates are fit to lead.”