By GREG BISHOP
THE CENTER SQUARE ASSOCIATE EDITOR
(The Center Square) — After the final gubernatorial debate Tuesday, the candidates are speeding into the final weeks of the campaign, and the rhetoric doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Because of crime and poor schools, Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey has called Chicago a “hellhole” and an “unruly child.” During Tuesday’s debate, he added another nickname.
“I’m going to call it Pritzkerville, because every one of Gov. Pritzker’s extreme policies are destroying the city,” Sen. Bailey said. “Out of control crime, devastated education, the fact that corporations are packing up and leaving every day.”
After the debate, Gov. J.B. Pritzker spoke favorably of the name change.
“I am happy to rename Chicago Pritzkerville as he has,” Gov. Pritzker said. “But the fact is, look, we have challenges; there’s no doubt. I’ve talked about those challenges and how I would address those. He hasn’t. He just calls Chicago names. Wants to throw it out of the state.”
Some online have taken the new moniker to heart, sharing scenic photos of the Windy City with the hashtag “Pritzkerville.” Sen. Bailey’s running mate Stephanie Trussel said that may be what elite political insiders think, but she said that does not reflect the plight of minority communities hit with crime and poverty.
Gov. Pritzker criticized Sen. Bailey for not taking media questions.
“This is the second debate in a row that I’ve shown up to answer your questions and the second time that Darren Bailey has not shown up,” Gov. Pritzker told the media after the debate. “Like with so many other things, Darren Bailey is all hat and no cattle.”
At a campaign stop in Springfield on Wednesday before a Southern Illinois bus tour, Sen. Bailey said Pritzker has been a disaster for Illinois.
“I can’t fathom what the next four years are going to be like under J.B. Pritzker,” Sen. Bailey said. “Every state agency is an absolute failure.”
He said education has been decimated, crime is increasing and businesses and people are moving out.
“All cattle and no show, that’s J.B. Pritzker,” Sen. Bailey said.
The election is on Nov. 8. Early voting is under way.