Watch Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor Debate Part I
Watch Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor Debate Part II
Watch Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor DebatePart III
Watch Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor Debate Part IV
Watch Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor Debate Part V
Watch Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor Debate Part VI
All seven candidates say the state of Illinois is headed in the wrong direction.
Wednesday night's televised debate was tame compared to what the public has seen of these candidates in other recent forums. They laid off each other for the most part and focused on the best opportunity they've had so far to reach the voters.
All seven Republicans agreed that if the Democrats pass an income tax increase this year, if elected, they'll work to repeal it as quickly as possible.
"Absolutely, I will work to repeal it and hope that it will not happen and I'll do that this next session," said Sen. Bill Brady.
"I will move immediately to repeal it. No state has ever taxed its way into prosperity," said Sen. Kirk Dillard.
And each repeated his vow to cut state spending.
"I'll draw a line in the sand. We're going to cut spending and not raise taxes," said Andy McKenna.
When asked how their personal wealth affects their ability to relate to working people, the candidates launched stories of how they help the disadvantaged or how worked their way up from humble beginnings.
"I grew up walking beans to teaseling corn and bailing hay for $3.35 an hour," said Adam Andzjeweski.
"I am a product of public schools, went to Western Illinois University where I worked my way through," said Dillard.
"Like everybody else here, I was born a poor black child, too. This is exactly what these elections are not about, these politicians' biographies. This is about policy choices," said Dan Proft.
Unlike their previous debates, the candidates did not mention former attorney Jim Ryan's 30-year friendship with Stuart Levine, a self-admitted career criminal and co-schemer with political crook Tony Rezko.
"Stuart Levine led a double life. Even his own wife didn't know what he was doing," said Jim Ryan.
One opponent theorized Ryan caught a pass because of how the televised debate was structured.
"I think this was less spirited that some of the others. I suspect that was more the format than anything else," said Bob Schillerstrom.
The seven candidates will debate Thursday night in Champaign, Illinois.