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'Why Illinois needs me — and not those other guys'

Political candidates like to grouse that they don’t get a fair shake from the news media.

We’re too busy parsing their words, looking for inconsistencies and chasing gotcha stories to report their actual messages to voters.

It’s been more than 40 years since Vice President Spiro Agnew denounced the press as “nattering nabobs of negativism.” We’re not sure what a “nabob” is.

But we do know that while we firmly believe the media’s reporting is vital to ensuring voters have all the information they need to make informed choices, we also concede that it’s occasionally a good idea to step back and let the candidates have their say.

So we asked the gubernatorial candidates to address a simple idea: “Why Illinois needs me — and not that other guy.”

Strip away the soaring rhetoric, blistering attack ads and five-point plans, and that’s essentially what voters want to know.

We asked Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, Republican Bruce Rauner and Libertarian Chad Grimm to each write a 1,000-word essay on the topic and sit for a three-minute video. We promised to run the essays — unedited except for grammar, spelling and the like — in the Chicago Sun-Times and the essays and video on Early & Often, the Sun-Times’ political portal. They will remain online at Early & Often through the Nov. 4 election.

You can find them below, listed in alphabetical order by last name.

And now back to our nattering.

Why Chad Grimm for governor — in his own words

Why Pat Quinn for governor — in his own words

Why Bruce Rauner for governor — in his own words