GOP race for governor heats up

All four republican candidates for Illinois governor met Tuesday morning for forum in West suburban Naperville.

This was a more subdued event compared to the more contentious debate on Monday night before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.

The candidates touted their business positions and their business savvy.

It was 90 minutes of talking issues to a primarily manufacturing minded, pro-business crowd.

When questioned about raising the minimum wage businessman Bruce Rauner, who has wavered on the issue, called it a double-edged sword,  “Raising the national minimum wage up to Illinois’ level is one way to increase our competitiveness and I support that.  If we are going to talk about Illinois’ minimum wage itself, I oppose raising it if that’s all we do.”

“Nobody should be raising a family or living on a minimum wage and I think that President Obama and Governor Quinn, trying to elevate with the Democrat Governor’s Association, talk about the minimum wage is just a cover-up for the dismal economic conditions that Barack Obama and Pat Quinn have thrust on America and the people of Illinois,” said State Senator Kirk Dillard.

When it comes to solving the multi-billion dollar deficit facing the state, Treasurer Dan Rutherford went straight down the middle on the state income tax hike that is set to begin expiring in January of next year, “Revenue may need to be on the table, but I tell you as the governor I will not sign any, any revenue into law that is not a part of a comprehensive, verifiable, long-term solution to the finances of our state.

State Senator Bill Brady even ventured into a discussion about gun violence in Chicago, saying we have to demand that federal resources are used, “It’s a trifecta, federal resources into prosecuting, better penalties, and they go to federal prisons, not Illinois prisons.”

The candidates saved their attacks for governor Pat Quinn who says he wanted to delay his budget address until after the primary so that he can work on five year spending blueprint.

State Senator Bill Brady said, “No good reason, other than politics, to push it back.  We need to know what his plan is, so the legislature can start debating it.  There’s no reason to push this back.”

Tuesday’s debate was sponsored by the Illinois Manufactures Association and the Valley Industrial Association.

There are at least five more GOP debates before the March 18th primary.

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