The Republican candidates for governor are trying to stick to their remedies for the state’s financial condition, but in a debate Tuesday night at the University of Chicago, they were asked about non-economic hot-button issues. On abortion, all but Bruce Rauner say they’re pro-life. State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), who claims a 100 percent pro-life voting record, says opponents used the issue against him four years ago.
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“I focused like a laser on economic opportunities, but they said Bill Brady will eliminate a woman’s right to choose. And I can’t do that as governor. Roe v. Wade is the law of the land,” he said. State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) agreed that there is little a governor can do on the issue. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford was asked whether he would support or oppose legislation to limit access to abortions, and he declined to answer the hypothetical question.
They’re also all for reinstituting the death penalty. Dillard says it’s needed for the “worst of the worst,” cop killers, child murderers, and those who kill witnesses. Rutherford was an unequivocal yes, Brady says it’s one thing to hold over an inmate in the Department of Corrections, though Dillard, Brady and Rauner all made mention of the need to be sure the defendant is guilty.
The last Illinois execution was in 1999. Governors since then observed a moratorium due to a history of wrongful convictions of Death Row inmates. The death penalty was repealed by law in 2011.