The race for governor in Illinois is getting ugly.
At a “get out the vote” rally on the West Side of Chicago Saturday, state Senator Rickey Hendon lashed out at Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady while introducing Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
“I’ve never served with such an idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic person in my life,” Hendon said of Brady. “If you think that the minimum wage needs to be three dollars an hour, vote for Bill Brady. If you think that women have no rights whatsoever, except to have his children, vote for Bill Brady. If you think gay and lesbian people need to be locked up and shot in the head, vote for Bill Brady.”
Speaking to reporters after the event, Quinn declined to apologize for Hendon’s remarks. “I don’t associate myself with those comments,” he said.
“I believe in civility,” Quinn said. “I disagree with people in politics, like my opponent Sen. Brady. I don’t engage in name calling. Never have, never will.”
According to Hendon, his remarks were based on Brady’s voting record. Hendon claimed that as state senator, Brady often voted against affirmative-action bills that could have helped women, minorities and gays.
“Look, I just told the truth,” Hendon told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I know this man, and I serve with him. If he can show me that he votes differently than what I said, I will apologize. But he can’t say that. I know he can’t.”
But Brady says the facts aren’t on Hendon’s side and called the remarks “desperate.”
“Rickey Hendon knows better,” Brady said in a statement.
“I stood with African-American leaders to allow parental choice in schools. I helped lead the effort to bring job opportunities to Chicago’s low-income neighborhoods. Pat Quinn didn’t. Pat Quinn can disagree with me on those issues and taxes and spending, but it’s disappointing that he would allow his campaign to go down this route. There’s really not much more you can say about some really desperate remarks,” he said.
Hendon defended his remarks but said he wasn’t speaking on behalf of the Quinn campaign.
“I take total responsibility,” Hendon said. “It’s about time someone called [Brady] out on his voting record. If people don’t like it, take it up with me.”
A new Mason Dixon poll shows Brady leading Quinn 44 to 40 percent.