MONTICELLO – State Senator Darren Bailey, a leading contender in the Illinois Republican gubernatorial race, is joining former President Trump and U.S. Representative Mary Miller at a rally this Saturday evening, June 25, at the Adams County fairgrounds in Mendon.
Bailey is a long-time supporter of Miller. The freshman congresswoman from rural Coles County is running in the June 28 Republican primary against fellow incumbent Rodney Davis in the newly redrawn Illinois 15th Congressional District. The winner will run against Quincy Democrat Paul Lange in the general election.
Bailey said Davis doesn’t have “much to show” as a congressman.
“I see someone like Mary Miller standing up and exposing the problem…that’s what people wanna see,” Bailey told me Monday at the Red Wheel restaurant and lounge in Monticello. “For someone like Congressman Davis to stand up and continue to say ‘this is what I’m going to do’, well my question is, ‘what have you done?’”
Ahead of the June 28th primary, Bailey said he’s optimistic about his campaign. He said a recent WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times poll (which gave him a double-digit lead over Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin) is nothing new.
“We’ve actually felt like we’ve known that from the beginning because when you’re out and about like this all over the state, and even in Chicago, and people are showing up, looking for hope…we know the movement is real,” Bailey said.
He said he’s visited Chicago and other parts of Cook County many times during his campaign.
In 2019, Bailey, then a state representative, supported a resolution in the Illinois House for Chicago to be split off from downstate Illinois as a “51st state”. But according to The Chicago Sun-Times, Bailey now classifies that attempt as a “warning shot.”
Bailey said inflation is the biggest issue of his campaign for governor.
“It’s all kind of meshed together right now,” Bailey said. “Cost of living, unsafe streets, and schools that have been destroyed by woke curriculum and woke ideas.”
Bailey said he’s focused on “removing establishment RINOs” from office.
Bailey is one of six Republican candidates for governor in Illinois, along with former state senator Paul Schimpf, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, paving contractor Gary Rabine, attorney Max Solomon, and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan.
Harrison Malkin is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow him @HarrisonMalkin