The runners in the state's biggest race—Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner—are sharing their views before Nov. 4. It's the first of many meetings before the fall.
Republican challenger Bruce Rauner says he wants to turn around a state that's been frittering away its abundant resources.
"This is a fundamental failure in leadership. We, we shouldn't be throwing people under the bus,” said Rauner. “We need a new driver for the bus. I look forward to being that driver and we're going to change that culture in Springfield."
But Governor Pat Quinn says Rauner's plan isn't up to par.
"His budget doesn't add up. It's going to have a gigantic hole, cost about $4 billion, just for education. We can't afford extreme radical cuts in our schools,” said Quinn.
While both candidates agree that the schools need more money, Rauner says a little bit of shuffling can help get the budget closer to a balanced level once again.
"There is massive restructuring to be done, and billions of dollars in savings to be had,” said Rauner.
Quinn touted falling unemployment rates, while Rauner says Quinn still isn't solving the biggest crisis facing the Land of Lincoln: developing local businesses and bringing more to town.
"We can't tax our way out of our problems,” said Rauner. “We can't raise taxes enough. It's not possible. We'll destroy our economy and we'll chase our tail down. To grow, we've got to create an environment that's conducive to growth."
But Quinn still believes that Illinois could be like Siberia, if Rauner wins, and starts slashing programs.
"(If that happens) something's got to suffer and that would be our schools, our public works, our work for veterans and all of the other important things that people rely on,” said Quinn.
Quinn says this is the last time that he will run for governor. Rauner says if he wins, he won't seek re-election, but he wants to get the state back on track before leaving office.
Wednesday was the first time Republican Jim Oberweis and Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin have been in the same place since spring. The two are facing off for the U.S. Senate seat this fall.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.