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Illinois gubernatorial candidate blames Chicago crime on Pritzker in heated debate

Chicago’s crime wave was a central topic during Tuesday’s Illinois gubernatorial debate, as Republican candidate Darren Bailey argued that Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s “extreme” crime policies put residents at risk.

“I’m gonna call it ‘Pritzkerville’ because every one of Gov. Pritzker’s extreme policies are destroying the city,” Bailey claimed. 

“Out-of-control crime, devastated education, the fact that corporations are packing up and leaving every day. Pritzkerville fits nicely because Gov. Pritzker, it’s time for him to own it,” the Republican candidate added.

During the debate, Bailey also argued that the influx of migrants at the southern border also made Chicago “a mess”, along with the Windy City’s sanctuary city status.

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“We need to deal with our southern border, and we need to get that under control and stop the inflow of illegal activity because what that is bringing, it’s bringing gang violence, it’s bringing sex trafficking, it’s bringing drug trafficking,” Bailey argued.

In response, Pritzker contended that the COVID-19 pandemic caused Chicago’s crime wave and asserted that his administration has liberally invested in resources to fight crime.

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“I’m the first governor in literally nine years to fund the gang crime witness-protection program, because we need to fight against gangs,” Pritzker argued. “We’ve increased the number of state police, our state-of-the-art crime labs are actually doing DNA evidence evaluation so that we can reduce crime.”

“If you want to reduce crime, you got to solve crime. And all the things that we’ve invested in over the last four years have been aimed exactly at that,” the Democratic incumbent added.

Illinois’s gubernatorial election will be held on Nov. 8. Pritzker, who has generated far more campaign cash than his Republican opponent, is favored to win.

At the end of the Sept. 30 quarterly reporting period, Pritzker reported that he raised nearly $81 million and spent $38.5 million on the campaign trail. Bailey’s campaign reported that he raised $2 million and used up $1.6 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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