Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Hash Out Priorities At Progressive Forum

Oct 9, 2017

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The Democratic candidates for Illinois Governor convened at a progressive forum yesterday to stake out the distinctions in their campaigns.

Evanston state Sen. Daniel Biss started with a question.

 

“Are we going to listen to the insiders and let it be all about billionaires again, or are we going to build a progressive movement to make transformational change that we have needed for so long?" he asked. 

 

That seemed to be a jab at Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. J.B. Pritzker responded.  

 

“I want to make one thing clear: This is not about money, this is about values," he said. 

 

While they differed on the details, the candidates agreed on almost every policy discussed, including a $15-per-hour minimum wage, graduated income tax, free college tuition, and gun control.

 

They also seemed to distance themselves from state party leader and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. One example was Ameya Pawar. 

 

“I don’t know him," he said. "He’s never done anything for me. I’ve never asked him for anything. Like I said, I got here on my own. By knocking on doors and with the strength of my community. I have no interest in making this about personalities or making it about one boogeyman.”

 

Other Democrats in attendance were Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman, Chris Kennedy, and Alex Paterakis. Together, all of them agreed to support whoever wins the March primary.