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Darren Bailey Announces Bid for Illinois Governor

State Senator Darren Bailey - Facebook

Credit State Senator Darren Bailey - Facebook

After spending much of last year clashing with Gov. JB Pritzker on COVID-19 guidelines, a southern Illinois lawmaker now says he wants to run against him.

Republican Darren Bailey announced his candidacy for governor Monday night in Effingham. He says the Democratic Party has had its turn in power.

"They've failed us, and it's time to stop it. We've tried the country club approach, we've tried the Chicago Loop approach, and I don't think that's worked for anyone in this room."

But Bailey didn't lay the blame for Illinois' challenges solely with one party. He says an elite class has too much power.

"Republicans and Democrats have worried more about the donor class than they've worried about the working class. And friends, that ends now!"

Bailey says he'll bring fiscal responsibility to state government, and that Illinois must spend only what it brings in - nothing more.

Bailey is a third-generation farmer. He and his family also founded a private Christian school. He served one term in the Illinois House before running for State Senate - and winning - last year.

Bailey gained statewide attention last year in his legal battles against Governor JB Pritzker's COVID-19 executive orders.

He'll face former State Senator Paul Schimpf in next year's GOP primary, and there may be others who announce before the March contest.

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Jennifer Fuller joined Capitol News Illinois in July 2023 as the organization’s broadcast director. She will oversee the launch and operations of CNI’s new broadcast division.