Greising: Tale of Two Houses Doesn't Help Voters on Rauner vs. Pritzker

Illinois gubernatorial candidates Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker had some explaining to do regarding residences, however neither candidate provided voters with strong positions on issues that would send them to the polls.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, right, and his Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker in a debate Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Chicago. (Rich Hein/Chicago Sun-Times)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

At the end of a bitterly fought gubernatorial campaign, it has come down to this: a tale of two houses.

That’s right. The two leading candidates — Democrat J.B. Pritzker and Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner — have conducted such issues-free campaigns that the election could be determined more by voters’ views on how each candidate handled his “house” situation than by any ideas Rauner or Pritzker championed during the race.

For Rauner, the residence in question is the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, where questions whirl about how the Rauner administration handled a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak connected to 14 resident deaths since 2015.

For Pritzker, questions persist about property tax breaks and refunds exceeding $330,000, made possible by removing the toilets from his Gold Coast mansion, rendering that house uninhabitable.

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