2018 Governor's Race

In this Friday Forum, we begin a series of interviews about important Illinois Primary Election races. WNIJ’s Dan Klefstad talked with Northern Illinois University Prof. Scot Schraufnagel, chairman of the Political Science Department, about various statewide and Congressional races. This week, we start with the top of the ballot: the race for Illinois governor.


Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators are taking sides in the primary for governor. 

Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are both endorsing businessman J.B. Pritzker.

It’s the latest example of Illinois' Democratic establishment lining up behind Pritzker. He's already gotten nods from a variety of different politicians, party organizations, and labor unions.

Another gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Daniel Biss, says while he admires the senators, Democrats need to decide whether they want to be the "billionaire party," a reference to Pritzker’s wealth.

Democrats hoping to unseat Gov. Bruce Rauner will attend a forum tonight in Chicago at a church on Michigan Avenue.

Anthony Galloway is the director of civic engagement for Equality Illinois. He says it's important to hear what the candidates have already done to help promote LGBTQ rights. 

"So our goal in this activity is to educate our constituents," Galloway said, "as well as educate the candidates on issues of impact within the LGBTQ community."

Gov. Rauner Faces Primary Challenger

Dec 5, 2017

State Rep. Jeanne Ives will challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in next year’s Republican Primary. She cites disagreements with the incumbent on a range of issues.

“Governor Rauner is responsible for the 32 percent tax increase," she said. "He failed to hold Republicans together, and he budgeted for such as well. His proposed budget actually spent more money than the passed budget by the Democrats.”

Ives was referring to this summer’s end of the budget impasse, when more than a dozen Republicans broke with Rauner to help Democrats pass a tax increase.

After months of promising to release their tax returns, two Democratic candidates for Illinois governor released them -- partially.

Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker both released the top pages of their tax returns - but not much else. Kennedy and his wife reported to the IRS that they earned $1.2 million dollars last year. Meanwhile, Pritzker - an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune - reported earning almost $15 million with his wife last year, nearly $10 million in 2015, and $3 million in 2014.