Democrats take aim at gun control, school safety, each other in ABC 7 debate

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All six Democratic candidates for governor met in a debate hosted by ABC 7 Friday night, less than three weeks before voters go to the polls in the primary election. (WLS)

All six Democratic candidates for governor met in a debate hosted by ABC 7 Friday night, less than three weeks before voters go to the polls in the primary election.

Gun control and school safety were hot topics, with criticism of the president's call for arming teachers and pushback against hardening schools as the way to make them safe. But the issue of money in the campaign had Daniel Biss going on the offensive as he tried to overcome his own recent "middle class candidate" stumble.

Biss went from defense to offense as he tried to correct his CTA monthly pass price fumble from Thursday night's WBEZ debate with a jab at frontrunner and billionaire JB Pritzker.

"When JB Pritzker's campaign drops $171,000 a day to try to buy this nomination they're buying slightly over 1,600 CTA passes," he said.

But he then had a "Back to the Future" moment during his closing statement.

"I'm Daniel Biss and I'm running for governor because in 2008 it's time to get it right," he said.

Pritzker didn't miss an opportunity to attack his favorite villains.

"I'm running for governor because everything we care about is under siege by a racist, misogynist president in Washington D.C. and by his local silent partner Governor Bruce Rauner," Pritzker said.

While Chris Kennedy attacked the party machine as unable to be there for everyday people.

"Nobody's going to ever trust and believe is that; not other Democrats, not Independents, not progressive Republicans, if they believe that our government is designed to enrich a handful of elected officials at the cost of everybody else in our state, and unfortunately that's what's going on now," he said.

When asked about their commitment to Latinos, Robert Marshall made a stunning remark.

"I apologize, I really don't know that many and I don't have any on my staff if I am elected I will try to do my best I can do appoint Hispanics," he said.

Bob Daiber played off his "regular guy who can get it done" theme.

"Last night I was asked how much a jar of peanut butter was, and I said $2.65. I also know how to eat a hotdog on a slice of bread because I'm an everyday guy," he said.

And Tio Hardiman made a pitch fit for the big screen.

"You want something different, you must do something different. The way everybody flocked to the theaters to go see the "Black Panther" movie, I want you to flock to the polls to vote for Tio Hardiman and Patricia Avery," he said.

This was the second-to-last debate before the March 20 primary. The candidates will be spending a lot of time and money between now and then hoping to get their message out, as well as hoping to avoid any missteps or last-minute campaign bombshells.
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