Illinois candidates for governor square off in heated debate

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The race for Illinois governor got heated Thursday night as the four candidates squared off on the same stage for the first time in the campaign.

The issue of JB Pritzker's proposed graduated income tax set the tone early as he was repeatedly pressed for specific tax rates, which he would not provide.

"I believe it's something we've got to negotiate with the people's representatives in the legislature," Pritzker said.

Governor Bruce Rauner who accused Pritzker of planning a massive tax hike, pounced.

"Mr. Pritzker is dodging your question because he doesn't want to tell the truth," Rauner said.

And the name calling continued.

"He has spent so much money trying to craft an image, but the truth is, his image is a complete lie," Pritzker said about Rauner.

"Mr. Pritzker it's easy for you to sit on the sidelines and criticize when you haven't done an honest day's work in your life," Rauner later said.

"You are lying, you are lying," Pritzker responded.

When election hacking came up, it was the Libertarian Kash Jackson's turn to rip both parties.

"Why are we worried about the hackers when right here, the General Assembly, the democrats and republicans continue to rig elections year after year," Jackson said.

When Conservative Party Candidate, State Senator Sam McCann's campaign cash from a Mike Madigan associated union came up, sparks really flew.

"He was put not he ballot by Mike Madigan's attorney," Rauner said.

"You're a liar, you've been lying to the people of Illinois from the very beginning," said an angered McCann.

"You said you'd have no social agenda and all you've been able to accomplish is to make yourself the most progressive liberal the state of Illinois has ever had. You're a liar and a thief," McCann said.

Rauner shot back: "Mr. McCann are you getting paid on a per interruption basis by Madigan or a lump sum?"

The debate was the first of three before the November election. ABC7 will be hosting one on October 3 live at 6:00 P.M.
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