Saying it is time to revitalize Illinois, state Sen. Darren Bailey has officially announced he is running for governor.
Bailey held a kickoff event Monday night in Effingham to make the announcement.
The Republican gained statewide and national attention for defying Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Bailey was part of a lawsuit against Pritzker for extending the state’s stay-at-home order in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Bailey is running on a platform of lowering taxes and stopping reckless spending.
“We have been saying this in Springfield for a long time, Illinois does not have a revenue problem, Illinois has a spending problem and it’s time we address it,” Bailey said.
The 54-year-old is a farmer who also runs a Christian school with wife Cindy. He is from Xenia, a village located south of Effingham. After winning an Illinois House seat in 2018, he was elected to the state Senate in November in a district that covers east-central Illinois.
As the largely maskless crowd held signs saying “Fire Pritzker,” Bailey blamed the first-term governor and other Democrats for policies that he said have led to a “torrent” of people leaving the state.
“We are building a movement and it is going to continue to grow. With your help, this movement will bring hope. It will bring opportunity. It will bring vision for the future that makes it very clear to every citizen of Illinois that the days of putting the interests of the corrupt political class above the people are over,” Bailey said.
Republican and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf also announced his candidacy for Illinois governor earlier this month.
The Republican primary election for Illinois governor will be held on March 15, 2022.