Pritzker hits back at Irvin’s statements on crime

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from...
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)(Charles Rex Arbogast | AP)
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD,Ill. (WGEM) - Several Republican candidates are now circulating petitions to enter the fray to win the party’s gubernatorial nomination.

Many of them are focusing their campaigns on the rising levels of crime as they reason Gov. J.B. Pritzker needs to be challenged. From candidate Jesse Sullivan comparing Chicago to Afghanistan to Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) looking to reinstate the death penalty for those convicted of killing police, crime is becoming a top GOP campaign issue.

Pritzker spoke out on the issue today when meeting with reporters to discuss a grocery tax freeze proposed in this year’s budget.

He took aim at Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, another candidate.

“Let’s be clear that Richard Irvin is exaggerating because he doesn’t really understand the law,” Pritzker said. “It seems like if you’re running for governor, you ought to understand the law.”

Pritzker says Republicans are “not characterizing the bill properly,” as several of the provisions in it haven’t even gone into effect yet, including the end of cash bail. Pritzker argues the end of cash bail allows those who are in jail for a petty offense but cannot afford bail to get out of jail, rather than releasing violent criminals.

He expressed his own support of police, saying those who kill police officers should receive a “long sentence, probably even a life sentence.”

Irvin has argued that the state needs to do more to support the police. He claims the SAFE-T Act, passed in the 2021 session, is too lenient on criminals and too restrictive on police, citing the end of cash-only bail and other measures in the bill as the reason crime is on the rise.

And in a recent campaign ad, Irvin looked to his record as mayor saying he supports the police. He referenced his response to looters during protests last summer.

As of 5 p.m. Irvin could not be reached for a response.

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