With one week left, Bailey, Pritzker home in on suburbs — one with Tulsi Gabbard's help

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and rival Sen. Darren Bailey couldn't be farther apart on the issues, but both adopted a suburban strategy Monday.

Democrat Pritzker visited small-business owners in downtown Arlington Heights and canvassed a Des Plaines neighborhood in the afternoon.

Monday evening, Republican Bailey rallied supporters in Glen Ellyn with former Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who recently renounced her party and now is popular among conservative Republicans.

With one week before the election, Gabbard warned that the country was at a “dangerous place to be in — we have a government that is of, by and for the elites.”

“Darren literally is of the people,” she told the crowd of over 300 at Abbington Distinctive Banquets. “He's a farmer who cares for the community. He cares for his people, he cares for the future, just like every one of you.”

Pritzker said Bailey's endorsement by Gabbard was “in keeping with the history of his campaign, which is, he is hanging out with conspiracy theorists, hanging out with Jan. 6 insurrectionists on the other side of his campaign.”

“This is Darren Bailey,” he said. “If you look at all the people around him, it sort of adds up to somebody that you don't want anywhere near the governor's office. Because he's promoting falsehoods and genuinely does not seem to care about real people and working families across the state.”

Gabbard suggested a response to criticism.

“As you go out and knock on those doors and make those phone calls ... even as you may be confronted by someone screaming at you, do you respond to hate with hate? No. It is our challenge and opportunity to be the kind of leader we want to see.”

Pritzker popped into local shops like Coco & Blu and The Eiffel Flower along with state Sen. Ann Gillespie and Rep. Mark Walker.

Michael Brown, who owns both shops, said he isn't political but “it's really important to support small businesses more than ever. We need all the help we can get.”

Meanwhile, Bailey, of Xenia, told the crowd in Glen Ellyn that “we have a mess on our hands.”

“We can fix these problems that we have in Illinois. We can restore the integrity that has been stolen by J.B. Pritkzer and others,” he said. “There is no sense that we should be living as we're living — in fear. We must and we will repeal the SAFE-T Act.

Bailey also said he would “fire the entire Illinois State Board of Education” and “take back our schools.”

“We must and we will provide better education for our children and our grandchildren,” he said.

Asked in Arlington Heights if he anticipates vaccination mandates as COVID-19 cases rise, Pritzker said, “I don't.”

“I think people understand that we've got vaccinations available to everybody,” he said. “We've got one of the highest vaccinations rates in the Midwest here in Illinois, one of the lowest mortality rates in the Midwest.

“We are seeing a rise in COVID as we head into winter. I want to encourage everybody to get their bivalent booster that's available now. You get boosted. It really is a safe thing to do and will keep you safe all winter long.”

• Daily Herald staff photographer Paul Valade contributed to this report.

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  Gov. J.B. Pritzker, center, visited downtown Arlington Heights on Monday and talked with shop owners and residents. Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce executive director Jon Ridler, left, state Rep. Mark Walker and state Sen. Ann Gillespie, right, accompanied the governor. Paul Valade/
Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey speaks with supporters Monday at a campaign rally in Glen Ellyn. Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times
  Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, talks with Arlington Heights resident Ian Gonzalez at CoCo & Blu coffee shop Monday. Paul Valade/
  Northbrook resident Merle Brown, left, and Judy Neumann of Arlington Heights have a photo take with Gov. J.B. Pritzker during his stop to downtown Arlington Heights Monday. Paul Valade/
Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey speaks with supporters Monday at a campaign rally in Glen Ellyn. Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times
  State Sen. Darren Bailey rallies a crowd in Glen Ellyn a week before the gubernatorial election. Marni Pyke/
Former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii speaks in support of Illinois gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey at a campaign rally Monday in Glen Ellyn. Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times
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