Illinois State Sen. Darren Bailey will be the Republican nominee to governor against J.B. Pritzker, the incumbent Democrat. Bailey, the quintessential American ruralist, spoke to me about his platform, including crime and economics, as well as how he intends to help rural communities such his.
He talked with me about his past experience in government, Highland Park’s shooting tragedy and what he hopes to do for the state’s economy, if elected. Bailey spoke out about how Bailey believes the Democratic supermajority in Washington prevents strong opposition from being formed and what he plans to do about it.
Please note: This interview was edited to improve grammar, clarity, and length.
Cameron Arcand Could you please introduce yourself and tell our readers what your plans are to combat crime in this state?
Darren Bailey My name is Darren Bailey. I’m located in Southeast Illinois, about four hours from Chicago. My 35 year-long marriage to my love has been a joy. We have four children and 11 grandchildren, and I’ve spent my life farming row crops — corn, soybeans, and wheat. A trucking business and an excavation company are ours. I was a bit frustrated with the direction Illinois is heading when my grandkids were born. The taxes made it clear that their future looked bleak. Their safety is their greatest concern. With J.B. Pritzker I was elected to the office of state representative for 2019,. This is the super minority’s first election in Illinois history.
I served two years in the capacity of a state representative. I made noise and shook up the system. So my state senator decided to step down so I was encouraged and motivated to run for his position. The last two years have been spent as a state senator. After COVID struck and the governor had just begun locking down the state, it got me frustrated. I filed suit against him, and he won. He’s been imposing unilateral mandates on us, and I have been resisting mask mandates. This has earned us some fame and made it known that people would stand up to push back. Unfortunately lawlessness in Illinois seems to be the norm, particularly in Chicago where Kim Fox (the state’s attorney) refuses to prosecute any criminals.
And number two, she is cleaning out the jails in her county and any prisons that are within her boundaries. Her only goal is to let people go. Two bills were passed in January 2021, and are now slowly being implemented. The SAFE-T Act is the first. One is the no-cash bail bill. This basically means that you can be convicted of a crime, get a date in court, and are sent to jail. You won’t get bail if you shoot at a crowd. This is an awful mess. Unfortunately, Democrats love to…make gun issues the topic. But I can assure you this: In every case, particularly in Highland Park this young man was unable to make it through all the ranks at every level.
Family and school. Civic organizations and law enforcement in Illinois. But, neither Governor Pritzker or the Democrats, who have no doubt about their control, are in 100% control. Without any Republican participation or pushback, they can accomplish anything they wish.
He acquired things he should not have been allowed to purchase, but the General Assembly and Governor didn’t act or follow our laws. Things like these are occurring in Illinois. These are the obvious solutions. These laws must be repealed.
We need to reverse the status of Illinois as a sanctuary state so we can properly vet the many people crossing the southern border. They are often bringing with them gang violence and drug trafficking as well as human trafficking. The current Illinois laws are preventing all of these things.
CA Many families have difficulty paying for basic needs now. What is your state’s economic strategy to combat inflation if the trend continues? What other plans are you making to help the country recover from the effects of the COVID Pandemic and lockdowns?
DB The truth is that if money were the solution to all our problems, Illinois would be fine. You know that rampant spending and irresponsible expenditure well create inflation, which is where we are. It’s sad that with the federal COVID money Illinois has been granted, Illinois was able to repay many of its debts as well as the unemployment insurance trust fund. J.B. Pritzker and the Democrats refused to make that happen.
Instead, they went ahead and just spent the money on other items…We have got to rein in many of our regulations that are, that are hindering business and our tax environment…Illinois needs to start focusing on attracting business. This will attract people and create an environment where they support local businesses as well as pay tax with their earnings. Unfortunately, Illinois’ business climate isn’t like this. We are still being held back by unnecessary regulations and taxes. The irresponsibility to throw money at all problems, rather than working towards a solution. This is the problem Illinois faces. We’ll continue spiraling out of control unless we solve this problem.
CA How will you serve rural communities when you are elected?
DB I think this is why I was so opposed in the primary. I have been vocal about the fact Illinois would benefit from a model similar to Indiana’s where opportunity is spread across the state, and the whole state grows instead of just the Northern half. Southern Illinois has been served by oil, coal and farming for many years. The Democrats tax it out of existence, which is quite interesting. They regulate oil out of its existence. They then turn their backs to wonder why energy costs have doubled, and why this summer we will experience brownouts or blackouts.
They were curious as to why diesel and gas are now more than $6. We don’t produce them. These natural resources are available to us, but bad decisions can have serious consequences. Not only is this important, but so are the frustrations of Chicagoans. These people are not well represented.
The life of a Chicago resident is more restricted than that for residents elsewhere in the state. Because of all the unnecessary taxes and regulations they have, the cost of their rent, food and gas is much higher than elsewhere in the state. My model of governance is what got me to where I am today. This is about communicating hope, ideas, and a better tomorrow to people. So, when this man shows up with his Southern accent and who’s a farmer from four hours away, they are intrigued, and then they listen.