Hynes, Quinn put away negative ads

February 1, 2010 8:41:09 PM PST
Democratic gubernatorial candidates made their final pitches Monday just a day before the polls open in the 2010 Illinois Primary. Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes are in a dead heat, according to recent polls.

On Monday, Hynes said he had better ideas on how to fix the state's problems while Quinn asked voters to remember his years of public service and integrity.

Quinn greeted voters Monday night at the Metra Station in Millennium Park after spending the day criss-crossing the state. His message on the final day of campaigning wasn't about his opponent but about the state's business.

"He who slings mud loses ground. I tried to run a positive campaign based on jobs," said Quinn.

Challenger Dan Hynes spoke to commuters heading home at Union Station Monday night.

"I'm Dan Hynes and I'm running for governor. I appreciate your vote," Hynes told commuters.

After weeks of daily attacks and counterattacks trying to destroy each other's credibility and character the two Democrats running for governor tried Monday to put on their positive faces.

On the last full day of the 2010 primary campaign it was back to the high road for State Comptroller Dan Hynes at a Loop construction site. He appealed to voters to focus on his unique abilities.

"I'm the person for these unique times, these difficult times to get the state out of the budget deficit that we're in," said Hynes.

Meanwhile, "Fightin" Pat Quinn put away the gloves. The governor made almost no mention of Hynes as he talked about his own success.

"My job is to be an honest governor. I have been. And to run an honest government, I've done that," said Gov. Quinn.

Even on the commercial airwaves both candidates cooled their acidic tones. Their lead ads were positive, unlike over the weekend when the warring campaigns wallowed in political mud. Comptroller Hynes--with an assist from the video ghost of the late mayor Harold Washington -- was still calling the governor incompetent while Quinn accused Hynes of negligence for not dealing with problems at the Burr Oak Cemetery six years ago when the comptroller allegedly first became aware of them.

On Monday, the candidates focused on what might be considered the real issues.

"Education, Healthcare. Job creation and a strong government that's solvent and functioning," said Hynes.

At the governor's event there was some controversy when Alderman Dick Mell, the father-in-law and political godfather of ousted former governor Rod Blagojevich, was spotted at a Quinn event.

"I never demonize people. I think that's what got our state in a lot of trouble," said Gov. Quinn.

Finally, Hynes stood outside the construction site Monday morning and talked about what he wanted to happen after Tuesday--win or lose--to heal the Democratic Party.

"I do think the Democrats will unite and we'll be strong going into November," said Hynes.

The final Hynes campaign event is a rally at an Irish pub in River North.

The governor spent the day at several rallies during a downstate tour. He'll greet commuters at the Metra station at Millennium Park in about a half an hour.

While pre-election polls show this to be a very close race, experts said the turnout is key Tuesday. And, that could be impacted by weather.