AP

GOP’s Bailey to face Pritzker in race for Illinois governor

Jun 27, 2022, 9:01 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2022, 8:59 pm

Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, right, laughs with his wife Cindy Stortzum while ...

Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, right, laughs with his wife Cindy Stortzum while responding to reporters questions after winning the Republican primary Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Effingham, Ill. Bailey will now face Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in the fall. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Republicans on Tuesday chose conservative state Sen. Darren Bailey to take on Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire who easily won the Democratic nomination and who spent millions trying to get the rival he wants and increase his already sizable advantage in the state this fall.

Bailey, who defeated five other Republicans to win the nomination, is a farmer and staunch abortion opponent who received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement Saturday.

Pritzker immediately framed the race as a referendum on the former president, who Illinois voters twice rejected by double digits. Taking the stage at his victory party, Pritzker told the crowd, “I’m going to beat Donald Trump’s candidate for governor, Darren Bailey.”

“Let me be clear, someone who seeks out and accepts the endorsement of a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, twice-impeached former president does not deserve to come anywhere near this state’s highest office,” Pritzker said from a hotel in Chicago.

Bailey raised his statewide profile during the pandemic by opposing Pritzker’s COVID-19 measures. He sued Pritzker over a stay-at-home order the governor issued, and was escorted off the floor of the Legislature for refusing to wear a mask.

On Tuesday, Bailey criticized “elites” like Pritzker, the GOP establishment and others who say he cannot win in November. He pledged to outwork his opponent and stand up for regular, working people across Illinois.

“We were outspent by tens of millions of dollars in the primary and look what happened tonight. This is how it’s done,” Bailey said.

He later added, “Here’s a tip and some advice for J.B. Pritzker: Start packing, friend, because on Nov. 8, you’re fired.”

Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune who is seeking his second term, and the Democratic Governors Association spent heavily on advertising to help Bailey win the GOP primary, including with ads noting he is “100% pro-life.” While those messages have raised Bailey’s standing with Republican voters, they are likely to hurt him in a general election in a place where Democrats control all statewide offices and Trump lost handily.

Republican Richard Irvin, a former prosecutor who was the first Black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city, was seen as a top candidate when he joined the race, with financial backing from billionaire Ken Griffin. Irvin 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. But despite Griffin sinking $50 million into Irvin’s campaign, he was damaged by repeated attacks from his rivals, including Pritzker.

Unlike the other GOP candidates, Irvin avoided talking about whether he voted for Trump. The mayor of Aurora instead focused on issues such as crime in Chicago and legislation signed by Pritzker 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.

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

“Listen, I hope this governor is wrong in his assessment that he can easily defeat the opponent he paid tens of millions of dollars to face. But if this governor is correct and if he does easily prevail, we as citizens must rise up,” Irvin said.

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

“I just like the way he 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 Berstein, from the northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park, voted for Pritzker: “So far I think he’s doing a good job.”

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

Pritzker defeated a much lesser-known rival, Beverly Miles, for the nomination.

___

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

15 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

16 hours ago

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

20 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

22 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

GOP’s Bailey to face Pritzker in race for Illinois governor