SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) – Despite receiving criticism, Republican candidate for Governor Darren Bailey has called the city of Chicago “a hellhole” again.   

“Our legislators [are] going soft on criminals to the point that they’ve made Chicago a hellhole,” Bailey said during his speech at Republican Day at the State Fair.  

Bailey originally called the city a “hellhole” during a primary debate on WGN back in May. Bailey then clarified his sentiment at the next debate, calling it a “great city” and saying he needs to “restore” it.

Chicago politicians have called Bailey’s disparaging remarks unhelpful.

“Dumping on a city and playing into the right-wing narratives or dog whistle politics of the past isn’t going to make things safer or better for anybody,“ Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) said after the primary debate

Bailey’s opponent Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign has condemned the sentiment. 

“Any person who repeatedly disparages the economic engine of the state, while also spewing racist, sexist, homophobic, and hateful views, doesn’t deserve to hold a position of leadership here or anywhere,” Eliza Glezer, JB for Governor press secretary, said.

Bailey has also cosponsored legislation to separate Chicago from Illinois as a state representative back in 2019.