MENDON – On a sweltering day in Adams County, Illinois, former President Donald Trump spoke in front of thousands of exuberant supporters, highlighting his endorsement of first-term Congresswoman Mary Miller and gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey.
Supporters of former president Trump and Congresswoman Miller were energized after the repeal of Roe v. Wade. Miller called it a “victory for white life,” though her campaign said that comment was a gaffe.
Some attendees waited hours in line, while others camped overnight to catch a glimpse of the former president. Supporters drove to the rally from faraway states, like Idaho and Virginia.
Trump called Miller “ultra-MAGA” and a “name to remember.” Many supporters said they will support Miller after Trump’s endorsement.
Soy and corn farmers Aaron and Julie Blout of Prairie City said they didn’t “want to miss it with (Trump) being so close.” They said they’ll be voting for Miller in the primary on June 28.
“I just like all of her things. She thinks like Trump does,” Aaron Blout said. “You know, ‘Make America Great’…everything she’s thinking we’re thinking.”
Viktoria Griffin, a Springfield resident who described herself as a “non-conforming” Trump voter, said she does not support Miller.
Miller’s opponent in the 15th district, Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville, said he’s “proud” of working with Trump and “confident” he’ll win on Tuesday.
“Together we protected the unborn, defended the Second Amendment, cut taxes, secured our border, supported our police and farmers, and so much more,” Davis stated.
Throughout Miller’s campaign, she has called Davis a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only). At the rally, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado (R-Rifle) even called herself a “professional RINO hunter.”
Trump honored the family of Chris Oberheim, a former Champaign police officer, who lost his life in 2021. Last year, on the House floor, Davis paid tribute to Oberheim’s life and legacy.
“My prayers are with his wife, Amber, and daughters Hannah, Avery, Addison and Aubrey, as well as the rest of his family, friends and fellow officers,” Davis said. “Chris was nothing short of a hero.”
In response to the rally, Davis held an event in Springfield with volunteers and supporters on Saturday morning. Local Republican officials, such as Republican State Rep. Tim Butler, were present.
According to a poll from The Illinoize, Davis is ahead by a mere three points — 38% to 35%, with 27% of voters undecided.
Harrison Malkin is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow him @HarrisonMalkin