Rauner, Quinn focus on black vote in 2nd debate

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner faced off Tuesday in their second debate in the race for governor. (WLS)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and businessman Bruce Rauner focused on African American voters during a fiery debate Tuesday night. The election is three weeks from Tuesday.

In a debate at the DuSable Museum of African American history, candidates for governor vied for the black vote that Republicans are not conceding this year.

"Governor Quinn, in my opinion, is taking the African American vote for granted," said Rauner.

Rauner told the majority African American audience and panel that blacks had not fared well under incumbent Pat Quinn's leadership.

"Brutally high unemployment, deteriorating schools, lack of a proper social services," said Rauner.

But the governor -- who won over 90% of the black vote in 2010 -- said Rauner's record in business speaks for itself.

"My opponent had 51 executives in his company, no African Americans, not one," said Gov. Quinn, D-Illinois.

The candidates sparred over who could do the best job providing work for minority contractors, and at one point were asked to list their African American advisers.

Again, Rauner accused the governor of cutting education funding. Quinn said he'd actually spending on schools. Then the familiar minimum wage increase question: Rauner favors it with conditions, and Quinn, unconditionally.

"There's only one person running for Governor who favors raising the minimum wage and that's me," said Quinn.

Venture capitalist Rauner would not reveal the sources of his nearly $61 million in income last year. And during and after the debate would not answer yes or no on whether he'd work to ban assault weapons.

"The real answer is to keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and the criminals," said Rauner.

"My opponent wants to legalize assault weapons. I think we know on the streets of Chicago they have caused great harm," said Quinn.

The candidates were allowed to ask each other one question. The governor asked about a female executive that Rauner allegedly threatened 13 years ago during a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed.

"Governor Quinn, this is more of the baloney that you throw out continually. I can't keep up with the baloney and the lies that you spin," said Rauner.

Then Rauner asked Quinn to commit not to seek a tax increase this fall before the new governor and legislature are sworn-in next January.

"You want a million dollar tax cut for yourself. That's what it's all about. I believe we should invest in education for our kids and not layoff our teachers," said Quinn.

Of course, both the Rauner and Quinn campaigns claimed victory in Tuesday night's debate. There were several hundred people watching in the museum's auditorium - a hot ticket on the South Side.

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politicspat quinnBruce RaunerelectionsdebateIllinoisChicago - Loop
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