Illinois Republican candidates for governor debate Thursday night

State Sen. Darren Bailey (left) and Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin (right). (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The six men seeking the Republican nomination for governor debated Thursday for ABC-7 in Chicago. Unsurprisingly, guns and school safety were major issues.

“Our schools can be soft-armored. Each classroom can become a safe zone,” said State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia). “In our area, law enforcement takes a very active role in protecting our schools and our children and then we’ve got to make sure that these plans actually work and they don’t fail like what took place in Uvalde.”

“At the end of the day, what we need is a leader. (Gov.) JB Pritzker is not a leader. He’s shown that. He’s disregarded our police and our law enforcement,” said Aurora mayor Richard Irvin. “Every day we’ve got kids that are being killed. JB Pritzker says and does nothing. Every day we’ve got police officers being shot at, and shot, and many of them being killed, and JB Pritzker does nothing.”

Also participating were Gary Rabine, Paul Schimpf, Max Solomon, and Jesse Sullivan.

Dave Dahl can be reached at


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