- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn won’t debate his lone Democratic challenger ahead of next month’s primary.

Activist Tio Hardiman wrote Quinn a letter requesting debates ahead of March 18, saying the public “deserves a serious debate.”

Quinn campaign spokeswoman Leslie Wertheimer said Friday she hadn’t seen the letter but no debates were to “take place.”

Hardiman faces an uphill battle.

Records for the most recent quarter show Quinn’s campaign has $4.5 million in the bank, compared with $550 for Hardiman, who’s mostly self-financed.

He’s been active in anti-violence efforts, but doesn’t have statewide name recognition or party backing.

Hardiman insists he’ll run a credible campaign.

The Republican gubernatorial candidates are participating in numerous debates. They are Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH’-ur-furd), businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW’-nur) and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady.

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