Our Pledge To You


Chris Kennedy throws out back, backs out of Downstate Dem gov debate

Ggubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy at a campaign stop in October. File Photo. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Chris Kennedy won’t be attending a Downstate gubernatorial debate on Wednesday night due to a back injury, his campaign announced.

Kennedy, a businessman and heir to the Kennedy political dynasty, injured his back during “routine exercise.”

J.B. Pritzker, state Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County Schools Supt. Bob Daiber, former CeaseFire Director Tio Hardiman and Robert Marshall, a Burr Ridge doctor are all scheduled to attend the 7 p.m. debate at the University of Illinois in Springfield.

“Under instructions from his doctor, Chris will be unable to travel to Springfield to participate in tonight’s debate. He has spoken to the organizers of the debate who have worked so hard to put together this important forum and sent his regrets,” campaign spokeswoman Rebecca Evans said in a statement.

Evans said Kennedy will return to the campaign trail “very soon” and is expected to participate in an ABC 7 debate next week.

The campaign also released a statement from Kennedy’s doctor, Dr. Joseph Alleva, who said travel would have worsened Kennedy’s condition.

Both Kennedy’s and Biss’s campaigns have highlighted their displeasure of another downstate debate being canceled — claiming it was because Pritzker wasn’t participating. The March 5 debate would have been the only televised debate for the Champaign and Springfield area.

Pritzker announced his debate schedule in December, and it never included the March 5 debate.

Wednesday night’s debate can be viewed on http://www.sj-r.com or http://www.wmay.com.