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The Latest: Democrats attack Rauner, Trump, spare 1 another

February 22, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic gubernatorial debate (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

Illinois Democrats running for governor attacked Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and President Donald Trump but largely avoided jabs at one another during a debate in Springfield.

Presumed front-runner J.B. Pritzker and Daniel Biss traded barbs over familiar issues such as each one’s record on attacking a yawning pension debt in the state. But the five candidates who appeared at the University of Illinois at Springfield Wednesday night mostly stuck to stump speeches on guns, the budget, relations with the contentious Trump and the fate of state party chairman Michael Madigan.

Candidate Chris Kennedy was a late scratch. His campaign said he injured his back Wednesday and his physician advised against traveling to the capital. Bob Daiber (DYE’-bur), Tio Hardiman and Dr. Robert Marshall are the other three candidates.

They face voters March 20 in a primary election to decide who among them gets a chance to replace Rauner in the November election.

Rauner is facing legislator Jeanne Ives in the GOP primary.

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3:15 p.m.

Five Illinois Democrats hoping for the chance to replace Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in the fall are to square off in the state capital.

A Wednesday night debate is scheduled at the University of Illinois at Springfield. It will feature candidates J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber (DYE’-bur), Tio Hardiman and Dr. Robert Marshall. Chris Kennedy’s campaign said Wednesday that he couldn’t participate due to a back injury.

Pritzker has been the front-runner since announcing last May. His personal wealth has kept him on television with advertisements. Biss — a state senator — has gained ground with a populist approach.

The debate is sponsored by the (Springfield) State Journal-Register, News-Talk 94.7 and 970 WMAY Radio.

The primary election is March 20.

Rauner also faces a primary challenge from legislator Jeanne Ives.

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