Republican for Illinois governor Darren Bailey releases tax returns — what to know

Illinois voters will be choosing between a billionaire and a millionaire for governor.

Republican candidate Darren Bailey has released his tax returns. Some estimates indicate the southern Illinois farmer is worth $5 million.

In 2017, his gross adjusted income was just over $1,700. The following year, it jumped to $211,000 and in 2019, it dipped to $189,000 — more than double the average American household earnings.


Pro Publica has reported Bailey got more than $570,000 from the federal government during the pandemic in Paycheck Protection Program loans.

The Chicago Tribune found he got $280,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Political Editor Mike Flannery says politicians' tax returns typically tell us only part of the story.

"A spokesman says Bailey owns about 3,000 acres in southern Illinois, has a mortgage on that land. But there's also a trucking company that we know, a transportation company that they run. There's an excavation company as well. There's clearly, the Bailey farms down there in southern Illinois, are a multi-million dollar operation. And what we get in these tax returns is a tiny glimpse of a tiny bit of the money that seems to be moving in any given year," Flannery said.

His challenger, Governor JB Pritzker, was born into one of the richest families in America. His estimated worth stands at $3.6 billion.