From left to right: Libertarian gubernatorial candidates Grayson "Kash" Jackson, Matthew C. Scaro and Jon Stewart participating in the second gubernatorial debate at Southwestern Illinois College's Belleville campus on Saturday, Jan. 13. (Image credit Steve Suess/Libertarian Party of Illinois/Facebook)

BELLEVILLE (Heartland Newsfeed) — The Libertarian Party of Illinois, in partnership with the Metro-East Libertarian Party, held their second gubernatorial debate between candidates Matthew C. Scaro, Grayson “Kash” Jackson and Jon Stewart at Southwestern Illinois College‘s Belleville campus on Saturday, Jan. 13. The debate was moderated by Aaron Wright, field operations director for the state party.

From left to right: Libertarian gubernatorial candidates Grayson “Kash” Jackson, Matthew C. Scaro and Jon Stewart participating in the second gubernatorial debate at Southwestern Illinois College’s Belleville campus on Saturday, Jan. 13. (Image credit Steve Suess/Libertarian Party of Illinois/Facebook)

The candidates gave 90-second opening statements, starting off with Stewart, who was fighting laryngitis. Stewart offered an apology to both Scaro and Jackson for his demeanor during the prior debate in Champaign regarding a financial question. All three candidates expressed their appreciation for the host chapter and the college for hosting the debate.

Issues discussed during the first half of the debate included Federal expansion of the Medicaid program for states, the consolidation of local governments, the ongoing saga of the state’s fiscal crisis, transportation infrastructure, state’s rights vs. the Federal government on legalized marijuana, crime in the Chicagoland and St. Louis Metro-East regions and the Second Amendment.

Issues discussed during the second half of the debate included governmental accountability, the nearby airport that’s losing money, property taxes, Chicago Public Schools bailouts, coal, ballot access and cryptocurrencies.

A joke by Wright cited overdue rebuttals from Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker, 2014 Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Chad Grimm, socialists and Jeff Sessions, which got the crowd laughing.

Topics posed in audience questions included charity, term limits, sports betting and strategies to win the election.

Each candidate was allowed to make a closing statement.

A brief meet-and-greet took place following the debate and an informal reception was held at 4204 Main Street Brewing Company.

The Libertarian Party of Illinois and the Libertarian Party of Chicago are working on scheduling the final gubernatorial debate before the membership chooses their gubernatorial candidate at their state convention on March 3.

At least 50,000 raw signatures will be needed to the Libertarian Party to secure ballot access for the 2018 election. Please contact your local chapter for more information.

Thanks to the Metro-East Libertarian Party for providing the video from the livestream. Please note that the audio is pretty low in the first half of the debate and improves around 1:01:33. If you are wear earbuds or headphones, adjust your audio appropriately.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

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