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Southern Illinois farmer to run for the Governor's seat

Southern Illinois farmer and State Senator Darren Bailey, who has been outspoken about Governor J.B. Pritzker's handling of the state's pandemic policies, announced last Monday that he will seek the state's Republican nomination for Governor.

Bailey, who is a third-generation farmer and with his sons, owns and operates Bailey Family Farm. The Republican lawmaker from Xenia, was born and raised in Louisville. He has an A.A.S. in Agricultural Production from Lake Land College in Mattoon.

In a press release he said he "has always lived by the motto of faith, family, and farming."

The 54-year-old's hat is now in a ring along side that of Republican and former Senator Paul Schimpf who announced his candidacy for early last month.

In front of a crowd of hundreds of supporters at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham, he said that Governor Pritzker and Illinois Democrats have failed the people of Illinois and it was time for it to stop.

"There’s nothing that’s wrong with Illinois that can’t be fixed by some conservative common sense. I’ll fight for the working people, not the political elites. Today, there is a political class that is ignoring our values and harming American families. Illinois needs a leader that is one of us," said Bailey, confident that his conservative approach to governing will cure the state's ills.

Bailey is known as a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment conservative, his campaign announcement highlights his previous fight against tax hikes, reckless spending, abortion access expansion, and sanctuary state legislation. Elected to the state legislature in 2018, he is making the reopening of Illinois' economy and schools among his top priorities.

"Illinois is in trouble. We have a massive deficit, some of the highest tax burdens in the entire nation, and skyrocketing unemployment. Add to that career politicians who have used a pandemic to destroy our local economy," he said. "The same people on both sides of the aisle have failed us for decades. They are the elites—the rich and powerful—who have put their interests in front of us; the farmers from downstate, the mechanics from the south side, the hard-working families that have built this state. We can do better."

Endorsed by Republican U.S. Rep. Mary Miller - who was in the political hot seat and forced to issue a public apology after telling the audience at a rally supporting now ex-president Donald Trump that "Hitler was right on one thing — that whoever has the youth has the future", Bailey is being strategically positioned as the Downstate Messiah. Sworn in as state senator in January, he previously served as a state representative from 2019 to early 2021.

Meanwhile Miller's husband, Republican state Rep. Chris Miller, told the crowd at the rally, "If Darren Bailey is governor of Illinois, then there is a God in Heaven."

Bailey's name became known nationally while challenging Governor Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order almost a year ago last May. With the help of a sympathetic court, Bailey won a temporary restraining order freeing himself only from the restrictions. The decision was later overturned and the case eventually dismissed by a Sangamon County judge in November after it was consolidated with several other challenges to the state's emergency management and public health directives.

The father of four and grandfather to 10 said:

For far too long, citizens of Illinois have been left without a voice. People in Illinois have been divided. We’ve been used. We’ve been mocked. We’ve been marginalized. People in Illinois have been ignored based on their race. They’ve been ignored based on their class. Their ZIP Code. Or by special interests. All while a political class has done absolutely nothing but enrich themselves, while destroying our state and robbing our children and our grandchildren of our future. Friends, this has got to change. And it has got to change today.

The Republican primary election for Illinois Governor will be held on March 15, 2022.

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