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Given’s Campaign For State Senate Pits Her Against Bailey For 2nd Time

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Democrat Cynthia Given of Olney is running for Illinois Senate in the 55th District.

Democratic Illinois Senate candidate Cynthia Given says her Republican opponent spends too much time on divisive politics, and not enough time helping the voters of the 55th District.

Hear an interview with Given:

(Given’s campaign Facebook page is here. Her Instagram page is here. Given’s campaign website is here.)

Given, who operates a massage therapy business in Olney, says it’s one thing for her opponent, State Representative Darren Bailey, to criticize Governor Pritzker’s emergency rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. But she says holding rallies without masking and defying rules about wearing a mask in the General Assembly is not the right approach.

“I’m not opposed to challenging the rules,” said Given. “But when you just don’t think the rules apply to you, it’s hard to move forward, not only in the local economy, but as a state.”

Bailey was escorted off the Illinois House floor during a May 20 special session, after refusing to wear a mask, in violation of a new House rule requiring lawmakers to wear them. He his suit against governor for his COVID-19 emergency restrictions is still pending in court. Recently, Bailey and other eastern Illinois GOP legislators belonging to the Restore Illinois PAC, held rallies around Illinois. At one rally in Champaign, only a handful of audience members and none of the speakers wore masks.  

(Hear Rep. Bailey discuss his lawsuit against Gov. Pritzker here.  Bailey’s state Senate campaign Facebook page is here. His Senate campaign website is here.)

Bailey won his Illinois House seat in 2018 in a lopsided victory over Given. They’re now competing for the Illinois Senate seat held by Republican Dale Righter, who is retiring.

Given says she’s focused her campaign on helping working class people, by improving healthcare and infrastructure in the district.

“Just expanding rural healthcare, making sure that our roads are safe for first responders, or our teachers, bus drivers, things like that,” said Given. “And broadband internet is, I think, really important.”

The 55th Senate District runs from Charleston and Mattoon in the north to Carmi in the south, covering all or part of 14 eastern Illinois counties.

Follow Jim Meadows on Twitter: @WILLJim Meadows

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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