Illinois governor candidates Pritzker, Bailey confident after final debate before election

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Pritzker, Bailey confident after final debate before election
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Governor JB Pritzker and Darren Bailey are both expressing confidence after their second and final debate before the Illinois governor election.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Governor JB Pritzker and Darren Bailey are both expressing confidence after their second and final debate. With less than three weeks until Election Day, their focus now is all out getting out the vote.

DEBATE RECAP: Illinois governor candidates Pritzker, Bailey debate for last time before election

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Republican challenger Darren Bailey faced off in their final debate before Election Day.

The governor had no public appearances Wednesday, but Darren Bailey spoke to ABC7 in Springfield as he kicked off a statewide bus tour.

Bailey greeted supporters at a pizza restaurant in Springfield as he geared up for the stretch run in this campaign.

"Friends, I'm telling you we're winning," Bailey said. "I want to make sure you know that we're going to win this," Bailey said to cheers from the more than 50 people gathered at the Pizza Ranch restaurant.

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Bailey reported that after the debate, he received a $2 million donation from Republican mega-donor Richard Uihlein.

"I believe he sees the hope," Bailey said of Uihlein's donation.

"I believe he knows the same thing that we know: that we're going to win, and that money will be used to get our message out about who Darren Bailey is to the high populated areas and the people of Chicago," Bailey added, saying that will mean positive TV ads

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But the polls would suggest that Gov. Pritzker has a comfortable lead in this race, and the billionaire has unlimited funds for the home stretch.

Recent financial disclosures by the two campaigns shows that from July through September, Pritzker outspent Bailey $38 million to $1.6 million.

Pritzker claimed victory after Tuesday night's debate.

"For the second debate in a row that I've shown up to answer your questions, and the second time that Darren Bailey has not shown up," Pritzker said.

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Pritzker is running on his record during the debate, fending off frequent attacks by Bailey.

"He has no plans, he has no solutions for anything, just making sure that I called that out," Pritzker said after the debate.

Bailey told supporters Wednesday that if elected governor. he will make law and order a priority.

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"As your governor I will send an unambiguous message to criminals and would-be law breakers, there's a new sheriff in town," Bailey said to applause. "This sheriff will not coddle criminals. This sheriff will not look the other way when children are attacked and gunned down while playing in a park."

Pritzker is leery of voters getting complacent due to the polls.

"We're not taking anything for granted," Pritzker said. "We've got a field operation that's working all across the state, you know, work right up till and past November 8th, to make sure that we win, and I'm going to run through the tape."

But in the dog fight this race will be, Bailey is ready for the fight.

"I think it's going to take the simple thing that's made this country: hard work, faith and just getting the message out to people," Bailey said.

Bailey believes in the next two weeks he can slice into Pritzker's lead, having faith that a miracle is possible as he headed out on a state-wide bus tour to get out the vote to try and make that a reality.