Pritzker, Bailey clash in final debate before Nov. 8

After four months of calling Chicago a "hellhole," Darren Bailey coined a new nickname Tuesday night during what was likely the final, face-to-face debate between Democrat JB Pritzker and his Republican challenger.

"I’m gonna call it Pritzkerville, because every one of the governor's extreme policies are destroying the city," Bailey said.

It was less unruly than their first encounter, but the men tangled on crime, schools and abortion.

State Sen. Bailey has said he could cut state spending by 10 to 15 billion dollars, about one-third, saying everything should be on the table, including state aid to local schools.

"Our children here in Chicago receive $29,000 per student. Yet Chicago schools -- they're failing our children," Bailey said. "More money is not the problem. Accountability and transparency is the answer."


Gov. Pritzker was quick to respond.

"I’ve increased education funding by $1.3 billion. And that really is improving our schools. U.S. News & World Report has named us number one among the top 10 most populous states in the nation for pre-k to 12 education," Pritzker said.

When the debate turned to abortion, Bailey declined to discuss his previous support for a ban with no exceptions, instead arguing it's not really an issue because Illinois’ Democratic-controlled General Assembly would block any changes he might seek.

"The state for 30 years — Democrats have had a stranglehold on our legislative process," Bailey said.

Gov. Pritzker chimed in.

"Darren Bailey constantly talks about repealing the SAFE-T Act on day one. But then at the same time he says he can't repeal reproductive rights. Which is it? Either he doesn't understand the legislative process or he's lying about his positions," Pritzker said.

On the controversial SAFE-T Act, which as of January 1st makes it more difficult for police and prosecutors to put accused violent offenders in jail before trial, Bailey did promise immediate repeal. Pritzker said he would amend it, not end it, but once again offered no specifics.

The final question asked them to say something nice about each other.

"I like your suits. You look good in 'em. And I think that's awesome. And I hope that, after the election, we could come to terms and maybe you could take me suit shopping," Bailey said about Pritzker.

"I admire the fact you married your high school sweetheart, that you've been together now for, I think, 30 years. That shows deep commitment," Pritzker responded.

FOX 32 Chicago will be counting the votes Nov. 8th, exactly three weeks from now.