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Land of Lincoln Family Feud: Rauner Spends Debate Fighting With Fellow Republican On Stage

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Last night’s gubernatorial debate didn’t turn out the way failed Governor Bruce Rauner would have hoped.
Not only did he fail to land any major blows on frontrunner J.B. Pritzker, but much of the debate was dominated by a fight he picked with Conservative Party nominee and Republican state Sen. Sam McCann. The debate night highlighted the intra-party GOP feud that has been plaguing Rauner’s campaign since before he barely won his own primary.
The Chicago Tribune reported, “it was Rauner’s exchange with third-party candidate Sam McCann, a Downstate Republican state senator running under the Conservative Party banner, which was the sharpest.”
See below for excerpts from the Tribune’s reporting, or read more online HERE
Barbs fly in contentious meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker in first TV debate of Illinois governor’s race
Rick Pearson and Mike Riopell
A bitter race for Illinois governor that has played out in TV attack ads for more than 16 months carried over to the debate stage Thursday as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker assailed each other’s character and integrity before voters.
But in the first face-to-face meeting of the contenders for governor, it was Rauner’s exchange with third-party candidate Sam McCann, a Downstate Republican state senator running under the Conservative Party banner, which was the sharpest.
McCann, of Plainview, has sought to exploit divisions toward Rauner among the GOP’s social conservative base over the governor signing laws expanding abortion, immigration and transgender rights. The division was laid bare in Rauner’s narrow March primary victory over state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican. …
Read more here.