After weeks of pressure from Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, Republican candidate Bruce Rauner agreed to eight forums and debates including one in Lake County, but the governor slammed the choices and said his opponent is "hiding."
So far, the two candidates have agreed to three meetups in common, including one hosted by ABC 7 in Chicago.
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Rauner didn't agree to one proposed at Elmhurst College, for example.
"I am running to be governor for all people in Illinois and our debate schedule should reflect the diversity of our state," Rauner said in a statement.
Rauner declined to participate in a Sept. 17 forum hosted by the Daily Herald that Quinn had agreed to attend. Quinn's campaign says several of Rauner's agreed-to forums either aren't public or don't allow both candidates to appear jointly.
"In limiting the number of debates to a paltry three, he is hiding from a transparent airing of his views and plans for Illinois," Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in a statement.
She said the Lake County event would be hosted by a Rauner supporter and would be unfair.
Eight debates would be a relatively high number in a governor's race that heated up well before the traditional Labor Day beginning of campaign season.
Debates could inject a serious tone into what's been a spirited campaign already.
Both candidates are already trading insults in TV advertisements and both campaigns have deployed dancing, costumed mascots at each others' events.