So Bailey insists on calling Chicago a ‘hellhole’? Well, Lightfoot slams his campaign as a ‘dumpster fire.’

After the Republican candidate for governor again ripped the city where over one-fifth of the state’s residents live, the mayor snapped back on Twitter.

SHARE So Bailey insists on calling Chicago a ‘hellhole’? Well, Lightfoot slams his campaign as a ‘dumpster fire.’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, left, and Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, right, at separate events in Chicago earlier this month.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey are at odds over Bailey’s characterization of the city as a “hellhole.”

Pat Nabong; Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times file

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday swung back at Republican Darren Bailey’s insistence that Chicago is a “hellhole” — and that she is partly to blame — by slamming the downstate farmer’s gubernatorial campaign as a “dumpster fire.”

“Chicago is no hellhole, but the Bailey campaign sure is a dumpster fire,” the mayor tweeted.

Bailey, who is running against incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the general election, appeared Thursday at a GOP rally during the Illinois State Fair, where he again attacked Chicago and its Democratic leadership for failing to address crime and other issues.

The “hellhole” jab is a line he introduced in a debate in Chicago nearly three months ago — and it’s become part of his campaign patter since then.

When asked by a reporter Thursday whether he thought most Chicagoans, who account for more than 20% of Illinois’ general population, actually view their home as a “hellhole,” Bailey stood by his comments, saying, “Actually, I believe they do. ... Because it’s unsafe.”

Bailey’s campaign also responded to Lightfoot’s tweet with a series of posts including links to news stories about Chicago crime. Another tweet, quoting the mayor’s, calls Lightfoot, Pritzker and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx “the three blind mice of crime, corruption and chaos.”

Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens tweeted out her own response, a series of photos showcasing the city’s beauty under the ironic “hellhole” label. Others quickly joined in, tweeting photos alternately countering — or seconding — Bailey’s narrative.

Shootings and homicides in Chicago are down substantially from the historic highs of last year, according to Chicago Police Department data, but there’s been a 35% increase in overall crimes reported in 2022.

Lightfoot, who’s running for reelection, has repeatedly defended the efforts of the CPD under the leadership of Supt. David Brown. “I will always have your back,” the mayor said 10 days ago at a police graduation ceremony.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey, left, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, right, at Chicago events this month.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, pictured at Chicago events this month, traded jabs over Twitter.

Anthony Vazquez; Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file

And she’s clashed with Bailey before.

Earlier this month, the Republican state senator dubbed Lightfoot, Pritzker and Foxx “the three musketeers of crime.” Bailey said the trio not only “turned their backs on our police officers,” but he said the three Democrats “have actively attacked them.”

The mayor countered with a lengthy response at an unrelated appearance that day with Pritzker, arguing that Bailey is not fit to be governor.

“This feckless person no way, no how deserves to be taken seriously, and he certainly doesn’t deserve anyone’s vote to be governor of the state,” Lightfoot said. “We have a governor that’s leading us, and he’s standing right here. His name is J.B. Pritzker.”

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