Bailey wraps up 102-county tour, prepares for Illinois primary election

Sen. Darren Bailey shakes hands with a supporter at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in...
Sen. Darren Bailey shakes hands with a supporter at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Illinois.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) flew into Springfield on Monday to meet with supporters on the final day of his 102-county tour across Illinois.

Bailey was already leading the Republican candidates for governor in recent polling. He thinks receiving former President Donald Trump’s endorsement over the weekend will push him even further ahead for the primary Tuesday.

The downstate lawmaker told supporters at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport that he first ran for office because he was fed up with politicians in Springfield. After several years as a representative, senator, and fighter against COVID-19 restrictions, Bailey said he knew he had to run for governor of Illinois.

Bailey feels people across the state are “waking up,” and he says Trump’s endorsement gave him national attention. While it may help Bailey in the primary, the Capitol Bureau asked how the former president’s endorsement will affect his chances in November against Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“I think people are going to realize and potentially even appreciate President Trump more so in November, and that endorsement and an American First agenda which is going to start right here in Illinois,” Bailey said.

Bailey argues Illinoisans are going to suffer throughout a “terrible summer” due to decisions made by President Joe Biden and Pritzker. He says Republicans are the only lawmakers calling for action to address rising energy and gas prices. Bailey claims the failure of Democrats to address those issues will “blow the door open” for him to win against Pritzker.

The eastern Illinois farmer has already been on the campaign trail with Trump’s campaign adviser Steve Cortes for several weeks. Cortes told supporters Monday that he personally told Trump that Bailey is the only Republican who can win the governor’s race in November.

“It’s not enough to just be anti-J.B., although we are that,” Cortes said. “But we can’t just be anti-J.B. Pritzker. What are we for? What is the vision we are for? We’re for the vision of Darren Bailey. I give you the next governor of Illinois.”

Since this has been a very divisive primary for the Republican party, Bailey said he will welcome support from the other GOP candidates for governor, even after they attacked his record.

“Yes, I’ll bring these friends back into the fold,” Bailey said. “We’ll set a new course. We will stand on Republican values. And I think when we do that, I think we’ll bring unity to the entire state.”

Bailey said his administration would welcome Democrats and Republicans to the table. The senator plans to end taxpayer-funded abortion and restore parental notification during his first days in office if he becomes governor.

He argues the people of Illinois need to elect better leaders who will pass anti-abortion policies.

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