Democratic candidates for governor debate on ABC 7 tonight


ABC 7 hosts the fifth Democratic governor candidates’ debate Friday night. There is just one more debate before the March 20 primary.

WATCH: ABC 7 Eyewitness News presents the race for Illinois governor: The Democrats Debate

Like boxers, the six candidates continue to look for victory by taking it to their opponents.

Recent polls make JB Pritzker the presumed frontrunner, with Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy fighting for second place. Meanwhile, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman and Robert Marshall are struggling to register any significant poll numbers.

Thursday night, during a WBEZ debate, Pritzker sparred with Kennedy over FBI wiretaps where Pritzker made racially insensitive remarks about African American leaders. But first Pritzker took aim at Governor Bruce Rauner for TV ads attacking him with those tapes.

“Why is that? Because he knows in a general election that he can’t win against me. Now, just a couple of weeks ago Chris Kennedy stood up and applauded Bruce Rauner, and said Bruce Rauner speaks truth to power, and that Bruce Rauner thinks the economy, that he’s doing a good job improving the economy. I think that’s wrong,” Pritzker said.

“But when he spoke out about the pay-to-play – it’s true – when he spoke out about the political pay-to-play system that JB Pritzker’s emerged as the poster child for, he was not wrong. What JB says in those tapes, he uses the language of racists,” Kennedy responded.

Candidate frequently revert to pat answers during campaigns, so sometimes the bigger concern is avoiding the slip up or misstep in the final days leading up to the election.

During Thursday night’s debate, the candidates were asked a “Price is Right” question to gauge how in touch they are with the cost of common everyday items.

Biss, who has positioned himself as the “middle class candidate,” found himself on the struggle bus when asked about a full-price monthly CTA pass.

“A monthly CTA pass, so let’s see, my Metra passes now comes pretty close to $50 a month, so a monthly CTA pass I would guess is probably around $35,” Biss said.

The actual cost is $105 on the CTA’s website.

Pritzker was asked about the weekly cost of childcare for one child.

“About $150 at the low end,” he said. And at the high end, “Probably $400.”

Those costs are in line with figures from a Cook County child care study.

Kennedy, who had his own stumble in a previous debate, provided a bit of levity when answering his question about the cost of a haircut.

“This good? ‘Cause I pay for them, I pay $40 for my haircut,” he said.

Tio Hardiman pegged the cost of an oil change at $39, Rober Marshall said a gallon of gas is about $2.75 and Bob Daiber was asked how much a jar of peanut butter cost. He answered about $2.65. All of those answers were in the ball park.

(Copyright ©2018 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)