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Rauner and Pritzker spar in political attack ads before primary

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The primary election for governor is still more than two months away, but, based on the most recent political ads, Gov. Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker are acting as though they are already squaring off in the general election.

The primary election for governor is still more than two months away, but, based on the most recent political ads, Gov. Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker are acting as though they are already squaring off in the general election.

One political expert said this is a sign of what voters can expect between now and the primary election on March 20.

"It's an air war, the one who wins the air war is going to win the election," said political consultant Thom Serafin.

The race for governor is taking on a war-like strategy. One day after Bruce Rauner ended his seven day stay at the Illinois Veteran's Home in Quincy, JB Pritzker released an attack ad online over the governor's handling of the legionnaires' crisis there.

Rauner immediately fired back at Pritzker with his own ad, using an FBI wiretap conversation between Rod Blagojevich and JB Pritzker where Blagojevich talks about the idea of making Lisa Madigan senator and JB Pritzker attorney general.

"JB's got to win the primary and the governor's got to win his primary as well, but they're going after each other tying to soften each other up," said Serafin.

Chris Kennedy accused Rauner and Pritzker of playing politics with soundbites while ignoring issues. Daniel Biss, meanwhile, released his first TV ads pitching his personal side. Rauner's primary opponent, Jeanne Ives, touted her winning a straw poll of the Chicago Republican Party Central Committee.

Thom Serafin said there is a risk that by attacking each other before the primary, Rauner and Pritzker could be helping the other's rivals.

"That's a calculated risk you take, and if you have limited resources, it's a big risk, but with unlimited resources, you're able to flip the switch on with the positives as quickly as you are with the negative," Serafin said.

The Rauner campaign responded to Pritzker's ad saying he's answered questions about Quincy and said Pritzker needs to come clean about the Blagojevich conversation. Pritzker's campaign said he was never accused of any wrong-doing, and accused Rauner's people of selectively editing a nine-year-old piece of tape.

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politicsBruce Raunergubernatorial race
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