MAGA voters get $ 50 million in Republican plans in Illinois

Darren Bailey, a Republican primary farmer and leading candidate for the Governor of Illinois, in a cornfield in Green Valley, Illinois, June 20, 2022.  (Jamie Kelter Davis / New York Times)

Darren Bailey, a Republican primary farmer and leading candidate for the Governor of Illinois, in a cornfield in Green Valley, Illinois, June 20, 2022. (Jamie Kelter Davis / New York Times)

Lincoln, Illinois — Darren Bailey, a front runner in the Republican preliminary elections for the Governor of Illinois, finished his election speech last week at a senior center in this central Illinois town when he said: “

Bailey immediately agreed. Kathy Schmidt, a young Lincoln leader, closed his eyes, extended his hand, and placed his right hand on his left shoulder, with his palm open.

“More than anything,” she prayed. “In this election, you make the righteous and defeat the bad guys... “

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In this case, the evil is a moderate Chicago-based group whose purpose is to maintain control of the Illinois Republicans. And the Righteous Among the Nations is the far-right senator, unlike any candidate the party has proposed to the governor in his living memory.

A 56-year-old farmer whose southern Illinois home is closer to Nashville, Tennessee than Chicago, like many past leaders, can cut his hair, talk with thick draws, and undermine his conservative qualifications. There is none. GOP candidates have attempted to appeal to the suburbs of this overwhelming democracy. Former President Donald Trump supported Bailey on Saturday at a rally near Quincy, Illinois.

Bailey has become prominent in Illinois politics by introducing legislation to expel Chicago from the state. When the coronavirus pandemic began, he was expelled from the state legislative session for refusing to wear a mask and sued Democratic Governor JB Pritzker for virus mitigation efforts throughout the state. On the door of his campaign bus is the Bible poem Ephesians 6: 10-19. This requires believers to wear divine armor in the fight against the “evil ruler.”

He is a supportive candidate for the state’s anti-abortion group, and on Friday he celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling, which overturned the Roe v. Wade case as a “historic and welcome moment.” He said he opposed this practice, including in the case of rape and incest.

Bailey mayor Richard Irvin, a medium-sized suburb with a moving personal story they believed could regain the Governor’s mansion in Springfield, which is widely predicted to be the year of Republican victory. It overturned a $ 50 million plan carefully set by Republican leaders in Illinois to nominate Irvin.

Bailey was backed by Pritzker and an unprecedented intervention from the Pritzker-funded Democratic Governor’s Association. Pritzker spent a total of about $ 35 million attacking Irvine while trying to lift Bailey. It is believed that no party candidate has spent any more time interfering with the primaries of other parties.

The Illinois Governor’s election is currently set to become the most expensive non-Presidential palace campaign in American history.

Public and private polls before Tuesday’s primary show Bailey a 15 percent point lead over Irvine and four other candidates. His strength shows a wider shift in Republican politics across the country, away from the city’s electricity brokers and towards local bases that demand loyalty on the far-right agenda consistent with Trump.

For Bailey, Chicago’s excise tax proposal, which he called the “Hell Hole” in last month’s television debate, summarizes long-held complaints in the central and southern countryside of Illinois.

“The remaining 90% of the land isn’t really happy about how 10% of the land is orienting things,” Bailey said outside the bar in Green Valley, a 700-person southern village. Said in an interview on the campaign bus of Peoria. “It’s a problem because many people other than that 10% aren’t speaking out.”

The pitch resonated with conservative voters swarming in Bailey, who seemed to compare Irvin and Satan in February’s Facebook Live monopoly.

“”McLean’s State Farm Insurance security analyst, Pam Page, who came to see Bailey in Lincoln, said: “Downstate doesn’t seem to receive any perks or kickbacks.”

The onslaught of democratic television ads attacking Irvine and promoting Bailey has frustrated Mayor Aurora. Governor of 2014. Their recipe: Find a good candidate to beat voters in the suburbs of Chicago in a strong Republican year — and spend a lot of money.

52-year-old Irvin meets their bill. Born a teenage single mother in Aurora, he was a veteran of the Gulf War Army and a local prosecutor before becoming the first black mayor of the second most populous city in Illinois.

Kenneth Griffin, the founder of Chicago’s Billionaire Hedge Fund, a major benefactor of the Illinois Republic, has donated $ 50 million to Irvine at the Primary alone and promised to spend more for him in the general election. According to his spokesman, Zia Ahmed, Griffin, the wealthiest man in the state, will not support other Republicans in the competition with Pritzker. Griffin announced last week that his hedge fund and trading company will move to Miami.

Irvine, a longtime Republican who voted in a series of recent Democratic primaries in Illinois, was the wealthiest civilian in the United States, although he expected a high primaries in the general election. I’m dissatisfied with the primary intervention from Billionaire Pritzker.

“It never happened in the history of our country that the Democrats would spend this much money to prevent an individual from becoming a Republican candidate,” Irvin said. Said in an interview after visiting the Wauconda manufacturing plant. Do it in the northern suburbs of Chicago. “There are six people in the Republican primary, six of them, but when I turn on the TV, I’m the only one who can see it.”

“JB Pritzker is afraid to face Richard Arvin in the general election,” Griffin said.

He added: “He and his associates at the DGA have shamelessly spent tens of millions of dollars in Republican primaries to deceive Republican voters.”

Pritzker said the ad highlighting Bailey’s conservative credentials contained the same message he was planning to use in the general election. He said he wasn’t afraid to play against the millions of people Irvin and Griffin spend on his campaign.

“It’s messed up over there,” Pritzker said in an interview on Friday. “They are all anti-choices. You can literally go down the list of things I think are really important to people across the state. And you know, they’re all terrible. So I Take one of them and defeat them. “

The primary election alone raised $ 100 million in TV ads. This year, Pritzker spent more money on TV advertising than anyone else running for any office in the country. According to media tracking company Ad Impact, Irvin ranks second.

Bailey is far behind them. Bailey’s main financial beneficiary is the far-right Republican candidate billionaire mega-donor, who donated $ 9 million of the $ 11.6 million raised by Bailey and sent an additional $ 8 million to the attacking political action committee. Did. Irvine is not conservative.

The presidential politics of both parties is approaching the Primary.

Irvine didn’t say who he voted for in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, and in an interview he didn’t say whether he would support Trump if he ran for president in 2024. He called President Joe Biden a “legal president.” Former Vice President Mike Pence fulfilled his constitutional obligations on January 6, 2021.

Bailey does not say whether the 2020 elections were fairly decided or whether Pence did the right thing.

Pritzker’s motivation to help Bailey in the primary may be communicated not only by his desire for reelection, but also by what many see as a potential desire for the White House itself. Last weekend he talked about a gathering of Democrats in New Hampshire — only those with national ambitions in the midst of their own reelection campaign.

As the primary approaches, the establishment of a state-wide Republican is worried about Bailey’s potential to drag down the entire GOP ticket in November.

US Rep. Darin LaHood predicted a “overwhelming” Bailey primary victory in central Illinois, but warned that it was toxic to voters in the general election.

“Bailey isn’t going to play in the suburbs,” said Rafud, who hasn’t approved key candidates. “He has a southern draw, a southern accent, which means he should run in Missouri, not in the suburbs of Chicago.”

Former Governor Jim Edgar, the only Illinois governor from outside the Chicago region since World War II, said Bailey’s rise was “80’s and ’90’s.”

Bailey supporters say the real battle is for the Republican soul. For them, gaining and taking control of a political party is just as important as winning a general election.

Along with Bailey, the Attorney General is running for Thomas Devoa, a lawyer in a pandemic proceeding against Pritzker. On the campaign trail, he wears a untacked golf shirt that reveals a tattoo on his forearm. “Freedom” on his right arm and “Liberty” on his left arm.

“”Whether Darren and I win the general election, I think we have the opportunity to succeed in the long run, at least if we can take control within our party, “Debois said. I stopped by.

David Smith, managing director of the Illinois Family Research Institute, an anti-abortion organization whose political sector has endorsed Bailey, said Republican competition is about removing the party’s moderate elements.

“This primary must wipe out the Republicans of those who are self-serving snow gosters,” he said.

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