The Corner

Elections

Illinois Governor Rauner Dodges Debates with Conservative Challenger

The Republican primary in the Illinois gubernatorial race has largely been characterized by incumbent Bruce Rauner refusing to confront his challenger Jeanne Ives, including in public debates.

The only time the two candidates faced off was in front of the Chicago Tribune editorial board in late January, during which Ives successfully put the sitting GOP governor on defense about his failure to push through conservative policy during his time in office.

According to one report from the Chicago Tribune, Ives asked Rauner during the conversation whether he would take part in another Republican debate ahead of the March 20 primary.

“We’re debating right now,” Rauner replied. That’s one way to say no.

Given the way Ives was able to best Rauner on the issues in front of the editorial board — a setting that tends to invite policy conversation rather than typical debate cheap-shots and one-liners — it isn’t surprising that the governor has spent the rest of the primary campaign avoiding facing her again.

Watch the full video of their Chicago Tribune debate here.

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