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Darren Bailey for Governor/Facebook

Dirty Delete: Meet the GOP extremist whom Democrats helped win the Illinois gubernatorial primary

Darren Bailey’s positions run a straight line along the far-right.


Claire Goforth


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Dirty Delete


Illinois state Sen. Darren Bailey (R) is Democrats’ favorite extremist running for governor.

They spent $34.5 million helping make sure he won the Republican primary.

Apparently they think it’ll be a cakewalk to best the man who favorably compared himself to golfer John Daly and his opponent, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), to Tiger Woods, and once tweeted that “Islam is NOT a religion of peace.”

Bailey’s positions run a straight line along the far-right.

Two of the tenets of his campaign are making it easier to carry guns and illegal to terminate a pregnancy.

His “pro-life” views apparently end at birth. He proposed reinstating the death penalty in Illinois earlier this year. But only if the victim is a cop.

Days after the 2020 election was called for President Joe Biden, Bailey tweeted, “TRUMP…..4 more years! It’s coming…… #voterfraudistreason.” Treason is a capital offense.

Bailey’s so convinced of lies about election fraud that he thinks Illinois should purge its voter rolls every year—or, as he puts it, “annual cleaning.” This is just one of his many proposals “to restore confidence in our elections.” (Nevermind that lies about voter fraud are what’s undermining faith in elections).

Logic isn’t Darren Bailey’s friend.

Last July, he said that he opposes government handouts because “that’s socialism.”

Yet Bailey received over a half-million dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans alone. Since the 1990s, he’s accepted $2.1 million in federal farm subsidies.

Recently Bailey has made a clumsy attempt to pivot towards the center. It doesn’t seem to be working. Of course, it probably doesn’t help that he recently compared abortion to the Holocaust during a speech in front of a map with the entire nation of Israel eradicated.

Then there’s the fact that he’s repeatedly described Chicago as a “hellhole.” When a reporter asked why he recently moved there, he replied, “I want to immerse myself in the culture.” Some felt this was a problematic response.

But he’s still gamely trying to frame himself as more of a moderate. When an NBC affiliate asked if he’d welcome his good buddy former President Donald Trump on the campaign trail with him, Bailey said, “Trump is not on the ballot.”

Online, you can find Bailey on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Truth Social. It’s great content if you’re feeling nostalgic for the county fair.

Why it matters

It isn’t easy for Republicans to win statewide elections in Illinois. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Even if Bailey never lives in the governor’s mansion, he has a significantly larger profile now that he’s the Republican nominee for the office.

This time next year, he could be on to bigger things.

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