Illinois is at a crossroad ahead of the primary election on June 28. Inflation, a surge in crime, the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible end of Roe v. Wade are just some of the issues facing residents across the state. 

Tuesday, three Illinois Republicans hoping to unseat Governor JB Pritzker faced off in a debate on WGN.

State senator Darren Bailey, businessman Gary Rabine and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan met for one hour starting at 7 p.m.

All of the candidates mentioned the Texas school shooting, which killed at least 18 children, in their opening statements. The debate opened up with the three candidates attacking the leading polling candidate, Richard Irvin, after the Chicago FOP endorsed him.

After that, a significant amount of time was spent discussing crime and the state’s criminal justice system. At one point, State Sen. Darren Bailey called Chicago a “hell hole.”

Following around 20 minutes of discussing public safety, the candidates answered a series of questions regarding Illinois’ economy. All of the candidates discussed the $130 billion pension crisis in the state.

None of the candidates suggested taking away money from pensioners that was promised. Sullivan and Rabine mentioned a 401K type of program for future pensioners.

With the hot topic across the country of Roe. V. Ward potentially being overturned this summer by the Supreme Court, all of the candidates, who are pro-life, discussed limiting taxpayer programs for abortion.

When asked specifically what exceptions they support for abortion, Jesse Sullivan said rape, incest and the life of the mother, Darren Bailey said the life of the mother and so did Gary Rabine.

Illinois primary Election Day is June 28. Early voting is already underway.

The winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary will face JB Pritzker in November.

To register to vote, please visit https://ova.elections.il.gov/