EFFINGHAM, Ill. - Darren Bailey grew up on a farm in the tiny community of Louisville, about 30 miles south of Effingham. He said he never had any ambition to get in politics, but now he’s the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois.
"Tonight our movement sent a clear message… We will not be ignored," Bailey told a crowd of about 300 supporters at his campaign victory party in Effingham.
Bailey declared victory less than two hours after the polls closed and with a much bigger margin of victory than had been predicted.
He was heavily outspent in this campaign but got some unexpected help from Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who spent millions of dollars in ads attacking Bailey’s chief rival, Richard Irvin.
Bailey also got a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump which certainly helped him in the Republican primary, but will also certainly be used against him in the general election.
Bailey was asked how he plans to do battle with Pritzker‘s money, acknowledging he’ll likely be heavily outspent in the general election.
"Friends, tonight, your voices were finally heard," Bailey said. "The voices of working families, parents, taxpayers, law enforcement and everyday citizens, voices from the farms, the suburbs, the city of Chicago and every place in between. Let’s hear it up for Chicago tonight!"
In the past, Bailey has called for Chicago to be separated from the state of Illinois and recently referred to the city as a "hellhole."