Rauner and Pritzker first TV debate of bitter governor’s race

Rauner and Pritzker first TV debate of bitter governor’s race

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker met for their first televised debate Thursday evening.

The exchange underscored bad blood between Rauner and McCann that was exacerbated when the governor backed a failed primary challenger to the state senator’s 2016 re-election.

It also gave McCann, whose candidacy is being funded largely by the operating engineers union despite its endorsement of Pritzker, some much needed publicity in his long-shot bid for governor. And it helped Pritzker by adding another voice to criticize Rauner while drawing some attacks away from the Democratic contender.

Still, the hourlong debate put in person some of the name-calling featured in the millions of dollars in TV advertising that has been expended by the wealthy major candidates, Rauner and Pritzker.

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