Darren Bailey (born March 17, 1966)[2] is an American far-right[3][4][5][6][7][8] politician who is a Republican member of the Illinois Senate for the 55th district. Previously, he was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 109th district in Southern Illinois. He is the Republican nominee for the 2022 Illinois gubernatorial election.

Early life and education

Bailey was born in Louisville, Illinois,[9] on March 17, 1966.[2] He graduated from North Clay High School and earned an Associate of Science degree in Agricultural Production from Lake Land College.[2]

Political career

Bailey, of Xenia, Illinois, was a member of the North Clay Board of Education.[2][10][11]

In a rare victory for candidates supported by Dan Proft‘s Liberty Principles PAC,[12][13] Bailey defeated David Reis in the 2018 Republican primary.[10] Bailey then defeated Democratic candidate Cynthia Given, the Secretary of the Richland County Democratic Party,[14] by a margin of 76.14% to 23.86%.[15] The 109th district at the time, located in the Illinois Wabash Valley, included all of Edwards, Jasper, Richland, Wabash, Wayne, and White counties and parts of Effingham and Lawrence counties.[16][17]

On July 8, 2019, Bailey announced his intention to run for the Illinois Senate seat being vacated by Dale Righter.[18] He won the March 17, 2020, Republican primary.[19][20] Bailey defeated Democratic Party candidate Cynthia Given in the general election.[21]

In April 2020, Bailey sued Governor J. B. Pritzker, claiming that the governor’s stay-at-home order extension to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was unfairly affecting residents of Clay County. A judge granted a temporary restraining order against the stay-at-home order, though it only applied to Bailey.[22][23][24] Pritzker stated he would appeal the order and characterized Bailey’s lawsuit as a “cheap political stunt.”[25] On May 20, 2020, the Illinois House voted 81–27 to remove Bailey from its session for refusing to wear a mask.[26][27] The following day, Bailey attended the House wearing a face mask as required by the rules.[28]

On February 22, 2021, Bailey announced his candidacy for governor of Illinois in the 2022 gubernatorial election.[29][30][31] Later on, Bailey announced that his running mate for Lieutenant Governor would be former WLS-AM 890 talk radio host Stephanie Trussell.[32] Three days before the primary, he appeared at a rally with Donald Trump and he received his endorsement.[33]

Bailey won the primary by a large margin, receiving 57.7% of the vote and winning every county except two.[34]

Before a campaign appearance on July 4, 2022, in the wake of the Highland Park Parade Shooting, Bailey stated on a livestream “The shooter is still at large, so let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate – celebrate the independence of this nation”. He received backlash for his statement and later apologized.[35]

Bailey currently serves on the following committees: Agriculture (Minority Spokesperson); Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Health; Higher Education; Labor; Subcommittee on Public Health; App- Agriculture, Envir. & Energy; App- Higher Education; App-Human Services; App- Personnel and Procurement; Redistricting- E Central & SE IL.[36]

Political positions

Bailey is anti-abortion.[37][38] As a state lawmaker, Bailey has voted against abortion rights measures.[38] He praised the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.[39] He supports a statewide ban on abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.[40] He opposes abortion in cases of rape or incest.[37] In a video posted on Facebook in 2017, Bailey said “the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization”.[41]

Darren Bailey strongly opposes the SAFE-T Act, a bill signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker that, among other things, ended mandatory cash bail in Illinois.[42] Bailey has referred to the act as “radical, pro-criminal legislation.”[43]

In 2019, Bailey and seven other Republicans sponsored a resolution calling for the City of Chicago to become its own state, claiming that “the majority of residents in downstate Illinois disagree with City of Chicago residents on key issues such as gun ownership, abortion, immigration, and other policy issues.”[44] This isn’t the first time Republicans have done this, but it is more of a political stunt than an actual bill with them not really wanting Chicago to leave.[45] With the announcement of Bailey’s bid for governor, Bailey backtracked, calling it “an old resolution” and “a warning shot” targeted towards Chicago.[44]

Following the 2020 presidential election, Bailey refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden fairly defeated Donald Trump, stating that he “did not know” if Trump’s disproven claims of voter fraud were legitimate.[46]

Electoral history

Illinois 109th State House District Republican Primary, 2018[47]
Republican Darren Bailey 9,729 56.76
RepublicanDavid B. Reis (incumbent)7,41143.24
Total votes17,140 100.0
Illinois 109th State House District General Election, 2018[48]
Republican Darren Bailey 30,048 76.14
DemocraticCynthia Given9,41723.86
Total votes39,465 100.0
Illinois 55th State Senate District Republican Primary, 2020[49]
Republican Darren Bailey 24,572 77.04
RepublicanJeffrey E. (Jeff) Fleming7,32422.96
Total votes31,896 100.0
Illinois 55th State Senate District General Election, 2020[50][51]
Republican Darren Bailey 78,010 76.68
DemocraticCynthia Given23,72623.32
Total votes101,736 100.0
Republican hold
2022 Illinois gubernatorial election Republican primary results[52]

  • Darren Bailey
  • Stephanie Trussell

454,068 57.7
  • Jesse Sullivan
  • Kathleen Murphy
  • Gary Rabine
  • Aaron Del Mar
  • Max Solomon
  • Latasha H. Fields
Total votes787,207

Personal life

Bailey is married to Cindy Stortzum,[17] and they have four children and multiple grandchildren.[2] He owns a family farm.[2] Bailey and his wife run a private Christian school.[29]


  1. ^ “Who is Darren Bailey wife Cindy Stortzum?”. Bareillyinfo. June 30, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f “Representative Darren Bailey (R) 109th District”. 101st Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  3. ^ “Illinois governor’s race shapes up to be a battle of the billionaires”. Financial Times. June 21, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  4. ^ Epstein, Reid J. (June 26, 2022). “MAGA Voters Send a $50 Million G.O.P. Plan Off the Rails in Illinois”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  5. ^ “It’s happening in Illinois: a far-right Republican leads race to be GOP candidate for governor”. Chicago Sun-Times. June 10, 2022. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  6. ^ Epstein, Reid J. (June 29, 2022). “Darren Bailey, a far-right state senator, will be the Republican nominee for Illinois governor”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  7. ^ Kapos, Shia. “Illinois GOP takes big right turn with primary victories”. POLITICO. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  8. ^ Ax, Joseph (July 26, 2022). “In risky midterm strategy, Democrats boost far-right candidate in Michigan race”. Reuters. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  9. ^ “About”. RepBailey.com. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Stewart, Keith (March 20, 2018). “Bailey defeats Reis in 109th District GOP primary”. Effingham Daily News. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  11. ^ Hug, T.J. (March 16, 2018). “Bailey challenges Reis for 109th district seat”. Navigator Journal. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Miller, Rich (March 21, 2018). “The Proft Scorecard”. Capitol Fax. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Korecki, Natasha (August 17, 2018). ‘I know he’s frustrated’: GOP megadonor on staggering losing streak”. Politico. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  14. ^ Miller, Rich (October 31, 2018). “Two candidates who deserve notice… and respect”. Capitol Fax. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  15. ^ “2018 General Election Results”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  16. ^ “Representative District 109” (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. May 18, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  17. ^ a b “Darren Bailey Announces Run for State Representative in the 109th District”. Olney Daily Mail.
  18. ^ Miller, Rich (July 8, 2019). “Minister who delivered controversial House prayer to run for House”. Capitol Fax. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  19. ^ Perry, Scott (March 18, 2020). “Area wrap: Bailey earns 55th district nod, and other area results from Tuesday’s primary election”. Herald & Review. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  20. ^ Cordes, Kaitlin (March 17, 2020). “Bailey wins 55th District Republican nod”. Effingham Daily News. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  21. ^ Griffith, Cathy (November 3, 2020). “Bailey wins 55th Senate seat”. Effingham Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  22. ^ Corley, Cheryl (April 28, 2020). “Illinois Lawmaker Files Lawsuit; Wants Stay-At-Home Rules Lifted”. NPR. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  23. ^ Pearson, Rick; Munks, Jamie; Petrella, Dan (April 28, 2020). “Southern Illinois judge temporarily blocks Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order from applying to Republican state lawmaker who sued”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  24. ^ Tareen, Sophia; O’Connor, John (April 27, 2020). “Judge rules Pritzker’s stay-at-home order an overreach”. Associated Press. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  25. ^ “Pritzker Blasts Bailey Lawsuit as ‘Cheap Political Stunt,’ Vows Swift Appeal”. NBC Chicago. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  26. ^ Klar, Rebecca (May 20, 2020). “Illinois House removed GOP rep from legislative session after he refused to wear a mask: ‘A callous disregard for life’. The Hill. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  27. ^ Stimson, Brie (May 21, 2020). “Illinois House votes to remove Republican rep from session for refusing to wear mask”. Fox News. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  28. ^ “House lawmaker returns to session with mask”. The State Journal-Register. May 21, 2020. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Pearson, Rick (February 22, 2021). “Conservative Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey announces governor run, pledges to fight ‘political elites’. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  30. ^ Sullender, Andrew (February 22, 2021). “Downstate Republican Bailey kicks off bid for governor, vowing to speak for the ignored: ‘We’ve been used. We’ve been mocked.’. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  31. ^ “Illinois Sen. Darren Bailey Announces Run for Governor”. WMAQ-TV. February 22, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  32. ^ Hinton, Rachel (December 13, 2021). “GOP gov candidate Bailey names former talk radio host as running mate”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  33. ^ “Trump endorses Darren Bailey for Illinois governor”. WBEZ Chicago. June 26, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  34. ^ McKinney, Dave (June 28, 2022). “Conservative Illinois state Sen. Darren Bailey wins GOP primary for governor”. NPR. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  35. ^ “Trump-backed Illinois candidate says ‘let’s move on’ just hours after parade shooting”. The Independent. July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  36. ^ “Illinois General Assembly – Senator Biography”. www.ilga.gov. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  37. ^ a b Kozlov, Dana (June 27, 2022). “After Roe v. Wade was overturned, where do the candidates for Illinois governor stand on abortion?”. CBS News. Retrieved July 20, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  38. ^ a b Ma, Jessica (June 28, 2022). “Illinois Gubernatorial Primaries Candidates views on Abortion”. The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved July 20, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  39. ^ “Republican candidates for governor say ‘historic’ overturn of Roe v. Wade signals ‘battle for life … moves right here to Illinois’. Chicago Sun-Times. June 24, 2022. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  40. ^ “Election 2022: Abortion Is Central in 1st Post-Roe Primaries”. The Associated Press. Retrieved July 20, 2022 – via WTTW News.
  41. ^ “Holocaust ‘doesn’t even compare’ to abortion deaths, says GOP nominee for Illinois governor”. Forward. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  42. ^ Lopez, Tyler (September 6, 2022). “Bailey vows to repeal Safe-T Act”. www.howabc.com. ABC. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  43. ^ Gonzalez, Bree (September 7, 2022). “Bailey: ‘The SAFE-T Act is continually being fought against as a radical, pro-criminal legislation’. www.prairiestatewire.com. Prairie State Wire. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  44. ^ a b Sullender, Andrew (May 25, 2021). “Republican Bailey’s message to Chicago evolves from get lost to make Chicago great”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  45. ^ Lloyd, Whitney. “Resolution proposes separating Chicago from Illinois to create 51st state”. ABC News. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  46. ^ Pearson, Rick (August 19, 2021). “Illinois Republicans at state fair take optimistic route heading into next year’s ‘do-or-die election’. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on August 24, 2021. Retrieved September 26, 2021 – via The Pantagraph.
  47. ^ “Election Results 2018 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  48. ^ “Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  49. ^ “Election Results 2020 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  50. ^ “Election Results 2020 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. December 4, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  51. ^ “Illinois 2020 Election Results”. Chicago Sun-Times. November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  52. ^ McKinney, Dave (June 28, 2022). “Conservative Illinois state Sen. Darren Bailey wins GOP primary for governor”. NPR.

External links

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Republican nominee for Governor of Illinois
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