Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Candidates for governor offer different economic visions

In late 2017, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s reelection campaign debuted an ad featuring three Republican governors from surrounding states sarcastically saying “thank you” to House Speaker Michael Madigan for “raising Illinois taxes” and “helping create new jobs” in their states.
The ad was an opening salvo in a campaign that has seen Rauner and his Democratic critics blame one another over who is more responsible for economic growth that lags behind most other states.
The state added slightly more than 50,000 jobs between September 2017 and last month, representing a year-to-year increase of just 0.8 percent, the fourth-slowest rate of job growth of any state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Such news has become a common refrain over the past few years, and it’s the economic reality that in part motivated Rauner to run for office in the first place. And now, it’s part of the reason why billionaire J.B. Pritzker is attempting to unseat him.
When Rauner first ran, he said that as a businessman without prior government experience, he would have the independence to make politically tough, but necessary choices to get the state’s struggling economy back on track.
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