CHICAGO -- The primary is not until next March but tonight the Democratic candidates for governor gatheredat Rainbow PUSH for a forum.
The candidates all agreed that Governor Rauner must be defeated but they each have their own message and approach.
JP Pritzker and Chris Kennedy are both thought to have an advantage due to their money and connections. Pritzker, a billionaire, talked about what he's done for the state including all of his various programs.
“We've got to think big in this state. We've got to get an awful lot done,” he said. “And I'd set myself apart not only by saying, I've thought big and gotten big things done, but you'll recognize it because I'm the biggest guy here in stage.”
Kennedy talked about what says is a rigged system here in Illinois.
“Until you get pissed off, until you get angry nothing's going to happen,” he said. “I think we need to see that we're in a rigged system that's screwing everybody but the super-rich and the connected.”
State Senator Dan Biss, who’s served in the Illinois legislature since 2011, says he’s running to take on the “system of billionaires and machine politicians.”
Chicago 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar, the son of Indian immigrants, is proposal a “new deal” for Illinois. He’s talked about a progressive income tax to pay for schools.
There are areas of agreement among the candidates. Every Democrat said he opposes state school voucher system. Every candidate on stage tonight raised his hand when asked if he supports a progressive income tax.
“We are rich,” Biss said. “We have the money we need. We are scared to take it from where it is. Illinois has a flat tax provision because millionaires and billionaires put it in there for themselves in the 1970s.”
“We have to finally acknowledge is that government should not be run like a business.” Pawar said. “Government and business are two different things, they have different ends. Business seeks out profits, not matter what the cost. Government has to serve everybody equally and equitably.”
A couple of these candidates had a lot to say tonight about their bios. Downstate educator Bob Daiber talked about working with different types of people while the activist Tio Hardiman emphasized that he's the only African American in the race.