Illinois Republicans pick Bailey to face Governor Pritzker | Health, Medicine and Fitness

By SARA BURNETT – Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Republicans in Illinois on Tuesday picked conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey to face Governor JB Pritzker, a billionaire who easily won the Democratic nomination and has spent millions trying to get the rival he wants and increase his already considerable advantage in the state this fall.

Bailey beat out five other Republicans to win the nomination. The Xenia farmer is a staunch opponent of abortion who received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump on Saturday. Bailey has raised her statewide profile during the pandemic by opposing Pritzker’s COVID-19 measures. He sued Pritzker over a stay-at-home order issued by the governor and was escorted off the floor of the Legislative Assembly for refusing to wear a mask.

Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune who is seeking his second term, and the Democratic Governors Association have spent heavily on publicity to help Bailey win the GOP primary, including with ads noting that he is “100 % pro-life”. While those posts have boosted Bailey’s standing with Republican voters, they risk hurting him in a general election in a place where Democrats control all state offices and voters have rejected Trump by double digits at two times.

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Bailey dismissed the idea that he can’t win and criticized “establishment Republicans” for contributing to decades of mismanagement in the state.

“We are going to send a message to the Republican establishment that we will not be bullied into sacrificing our principles to elect their candidates,” he told a crowd at a campaign stop in rural Illinois this month. -this.

Republican Richard Irvin, a former prosecutor who served as the first black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city, was considered a top contender when he joined the race, with financial backing from billionaire Ken Griffin . But although Griffin invested $50 million in Irvin’s campaign, he was damaged by repeated attacks from rivals, including Pritzker.

Unlike Bailey and his four other rivals, Irvin avoided talking about abortion or whether he voted for Trump. Aurora’s mayor instead focused on issues like crime in Chicago and legislation Pritzker signed that he said made policing harder. He said he opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother.

Irvin also argued that he was the only GOP candidate who could beat Pritzker in November because he could win votes from Republicans, independents and some Democrats.

In a concession speech Tuesday, Irvin criticized Pritzker’s “interference” in the primary and wished Bailey well in the general election.

“Look, I hope this governor is wrong in his assessment that he can easily defeat the adversary he paid tens of millions of dollars for. But if that governor is right and he wins easily, we as citizens must rise up,” Irvin said.

Tim Zink, a 70-year-old retiree, wore a National Rifle Association t-shirt as he voted in the northern Illinois town of McHenry for Bailey.

“I just love the way it stands on just about everything,” Zink said. He added that he didn’t trust Irvin, whom he called “two-faced” and “friends with Pritzker.”

Joe Bernstein, of Highland Park, in the northern suburbs of Chicago, voted for Pritzker: “So far, I think he is doing a good job.”

The other Republican candidates are business owner Gary Rabine, venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan, former senator Paul Schimpf and attorney Max Solomon.

Pritzker beat out a much lesser-known rival, Beverly Miles, for the nomination. He said he was not afraid of any rival until November.

“I’m going to play anybody across the aisle and we’ll win,” Pritzker said.

Associated Press/Report for America reporter Claire Savage contributed to this report.

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