Illinois governor race heats up over Chicago crime while talking agriculture with farmers

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ByCraig Wall via WLS logo
Thursday, August 25, 2022
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While the discussion focused mainly on challenges facing Illinois farmers, a big topic facing Chicago was brought up.

LEXINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Farming was the topic of the day in the race for Illinois governor.

JB Pritzker and Darren Bailey spoke separately Wednesday with agricultural leaders from across the state at a roundtable event downstate.

While the discussion focused mainly on challenges facing Illinois farmers, a big topic facing Chicago was brought up.

The republican challenger even compared the big city's crime issues to the Wild West.

Bailey talked agriculture with his fellow farmers on the campaign trail, while addressing concerns facing those who earn a living off the land.

"As governor, I will work hard to repeal the estate tax," Bailey said.

Bailey promised to be a strong advocate for farmers, if elected governor. But while he talked about the importance of bringing the state together, he also continued to bash Chicago.

"The things that need to change are the fact that the city of Chicago has become the O.K. Corral with shootouts and homicides every night. These people don't feel safe," Bailey said.

Governor Pritzker also kicked off a campaign bus tour Wednesday, rolling into downstate Lexington for the agricultural forum.

"You deserve a governor who works as hard as you," Pritzker said.

The governor touting accomplishments of his first term as he looked to harvest votes in the more Republican and conservative part of the state, adding that he wants to bring Illinois together while taking a shot at his rival who has repeatedly called Chicago a "hell hole."

"I refuse to sell farm families out by playing the game of pitting downstate against Chicago and vice versus," Pritzker said.

Bailey, who is unapologetic about his criticism of Chicago, is not seeing it as divisive.

"As governor, when I find a problem in an agency and I point that problem out, someone's gonna be upset about it," Bailey said. "There was a stabbing last night in Chicago, and Chicago has a problem and everyone that I'm talking to wants Chicago to be as safer place."

"You shouldn't be dividing people, you should be addressing the problems where they are and on the ground. He doesn't do that. He just wants to call names and you know say nasty things about people and places," Pritzker said.

While farmers downstate may not consider Chicago crime a major concern, it seems clear Bailey will continue to plant the seeds of safety concerns all along the campaign trail from now until November.