GOP rallies at State Fair to ‘Restore Illinois’

GOP rallies at State Fair to ‘Restore Illinois’

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Republicans gathered for their annual day at the State Fair on Thursday to showcase their candidates in the Nov. 8 election, vowing that the party will “restore Illinois.”

But as the party faithful celebrated amid the sunshine, barbeque sandwiches, corn dogs and other fair staples, questions lingered about how unified the party will be in supporting its ticket given that many candidates have shied away from endorsing the party’s gubernatorial nominee, state Sen. Darren Bailey, a southern Illinois farmer who has stirred controversy with his unguarded statements about abortion, the pandemic, Chicago and other issues.

“I may be a little bit rough around the edges, but I will work for you because I’m just like you,” Bailey said to an enthusiastic crowd. “And friends, I promise you this – no one will work harder for you.”

Bailey emerged as the nominee out of a crowded field of gubernatorial hopefuls, garnering 57.5 percent of votes, beating out rivals that included investor Jesse Sullivan, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, businessman Gary Rabine and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf.

During one candidate forum in the primary campaign, Bailey referred to the state’s largest city as a “crime-ridden, corrupt, dysfunctional hellhole,” reiterating that he believes Chicago has become a hellhole in his fair speech Thursday.

In recent days he’s also come under fire for old social media posts, including one in which he compared abortion in the United States to the Holocaust.

But he is perhaps best known for joining forces with downstate attorney Thomas DeVore, now the GOP nominee for attorney general, to file multiple lawsuits challenging Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker’s COVID-19 mitigation orders.

“Let’s say that we’re going to be middle of the road and say it’s a fair question as to whether or not he had the power – it wasn’t, he didn’t have it. But let’s say it’s a fair question,” DeVore told the gathering, speaking of Pritzker’s executive order authority. “Ladies and gentlemen, if there’s ever a fair question between something the governor is doing as it impacts the people, you never go against the people, ever. And that’s where that man made a mistake.”

When asked directly by reporters whether they will endorse Bailey for governor, most GOP candidates answered with statements insisting that they support the Republican Party’s candidates generally, but rarely saying that they support Bailey specifically.

“I support the ticket, and we’ve got a great ticket. I’m supporting them and I’ve said that already after the (primary) election, so I will be campaigning with every Republican who’s on the ballot between now and Election Day,” House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, told reporters at an event earlier in the day.

Durkin also said he is focused on trying to gain seats in the Illinois House, where Republicans are outnumbered by Democrats, 45-73. But he touted the fact that this year, the party has candidates in 106 of the 118 House districts, a record for the GOP.

State party chairman Don Tracy, of Springfield, tried to brush aside suggestions of disunity.

“It was a really robust primary,” he told reporters after the rally. “It was a really rough-and-tumble primary. We had a great unity event (Wednesday) night. Richard Irvin was there; Gary Rabine was there; Jesse Sullivan was there. They all spoke in favor of Darren Bailey.”

The rally also featured candidates for other statewide offices, including secretary of state, where state Rep. Dan Brady, of Bloomington, hopes to establish a GOP foothold by focusing exclusively on the duties of that office.

“When you talk about the race statewide, I think it’s really important to keep the focus on one thing, and that is what you’re going to do to cut down those wait times (at driver’s service facilities), what you’re going to do in the secretary of state’s office, how you’re going to improve services, and that’s what I’m talking about, and that’s what people are talking to me about,” he told reporters.

Other candidates speaking at the rally included treasurer candidate Rep. Tom Demmer, of Dixon; comptroller candidate Shannon Teresi, of Crystal Lake; U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Salvi, of Mundelein; and 13th District congressional candidate Regan Deering, of Decatur.

The rhetoric at the GOP rally was in stark contrast to that used by Democrats the day before, when Pritzker referred to Republicans as “the lunatic fringe.” Republicans fired back on Thursday by casting the Pritzker administration and Democrats in the Statehouse as extreme leftists and accusing Pritzker of having higher ambitions.

“I have traveled all around our state to help our fellow Republicans rescue Illinois from the leftist Gov. Pritzker,” Tracy said. “He now wants to run for president. Are you kidding me? What a disaster he’s been for Illinois. Gov. Pritzker has done nothing to address public corruption, crime, the rising cost of gas and groceries.”

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government that is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

CRRNH_StLaurenceCheerChamps_020123

Viking girls are golden

Spread the love

Spread the love The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane…

CRRNH_KimHughes01_020123

She kept her promise

Spread the love

Spread the love. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] . Never underestimate a woman’s love for her man. Gary and Kimberly Hughes met in 1996. They fell in love and were wed in 1998. They bought a home near 61st and Natchez and were on their way…

Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the…

Michael Benjamin has a laugh after being named Orland Park’s Officer of the Year during a ceremony on Jan. 16. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park cops honored and defended

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park hosted its police awards ceremony last week and, as usual, Mayor Keith Pekau expressed his gratitude for the job the police force does. He also was irked by some comments he has seen online with negative comments on a post. On Jan. 7, Orland police…

Chicago Police Department

Warn of burglars in Garfield Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A cluster of residential burglaries in Garfield Ridge has prompted police to issue a warning to the community. Crime scenes include: 5200 block of South Normandy on Jan. 1. 5600 block of South Mobile on Jan. 7. 5300 block of South Mason on Jan. 10. 6000 block of West 60th Street…

Sean Casten

Casten scolds sheriff on new gun control law

Spread the love

Spread the loveSays he can’t pick which laws to enforce By Tim Hadac U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) and several other Democratic members of the state’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, expressing concern over his Jan. 13 statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act…

Muhammad

Bust accused shooter in Clearing

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Chicago Police and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force visited Clearing late last month to apprehend a man wanted in connection with a West Side shooting. Shaheer Muhammad, 24 of the 3800 block of West Grenshaw, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at a home in the 6000 block…

illinois income tax form - Copy

2023 Illinois tax filing season now open

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Illinois Department of Revenue began accepting 2022 state individual income tax returns on Monday, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service began accepting federal individual income tax returns. “Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible in the tax season and choose direct deposit in order…

Palos Park Police Officer Ross Chibe, shown at a village council meeting in 2021, and the Palos Park force are staying on top of a sextortion scam that has become prevalent. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park tries to stay ahead of the curve on sextortion scams

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Police Department is trying to stay ahead of a disturbing trend that has not been talked about publicly very much. When it comes to the topic of sextortion scams, the Palos Park police are monitoring things very closely and Detective Ross Chibe was called on to provide…

palos heights police logo

Former hospital employee charged in Palos Heights identity theft

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A Hazel Crest man was charged last week with aggravated identity theft stemming from an incident that happened on December 27. Palos Heights police took a report on December 27 from a patient at Northwestern Palos Hospital who reported their wallet was missing and then observed two unauthorized charges on…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
CRRNH_StLaurenceCheerChamps_020123

Viking girls are golden

Spread the love

Spread the love The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane…

CRRNH_KimHughes01_020123

She kept her promise

Spread the love

Spread the love. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] . Never underestimate a woman’s love for her man. Gary and Kimberly Hughes met in 1996. They fell in love and were wed in 1998. They bought a home near 61st and Natchez and were on their way…

Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the…

Michael Benjamin has a laugh after being named Orland Park’s Officer of the Year during a ceremony on Jan. 16. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park cops honored and defended

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park hosted its police awards ceremony last week and, as usual, Mayor Keith Pekau expressed his gratitude for the job the police force does. He also was irked by some comments he has seen online with negative comments on a post. On Jan. 7, Orland police…

Chicago Police Department

Warn of burglars in Garfield Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A cluster of residential burglaries in Garfield Ridge has prompted police to issue a warning to the community. Crime scenes include: 5200 block of South Normandy on Jan. 1. 5600 block of South Mobile on Jan. 7. 5300 block of South Mason on Jan. 10. 6000 block of West 60th Street…

Sean Casten

Casten scolds sheriff on new gun control law

Spread the love

Spread the loveSays he can’t pick which laws to enforce By Tim Hadac U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) and several other Democratic members of the state’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, expressing concern over his Jan. 13 statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act…

Muhammad

Bust accused shooter in Clearing

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Chicago Police and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force visited Clearing late last month to apprehend a man wanted in connection with a West Side shooting. Shaheer Muhammad, 24 of the 3800 block of West Grenshaw, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at a home in the 6000 block…

illinois income tax form - Copy

2023 Illinois tax filing season now open

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Illinois Department of Revenue began accepting 2022 state individual income tax returns on Monday, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service began accepting federal individual income tax returns. “Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible in the tax season and choose direct deposit in order…

Palos Park Police Officer Ross Chibe, shown at a village council meeting in 2021, and the Palos Park force are staying on top of a sextortion scam that has become prevalent. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park tries to stay ahead of the curve on sextortion scams

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Police Department is trying to stay ahead of a disturbing trend that has not been talked about publicly very much. When it comes to the topic of sextortion scams, the Palos Park police are monitoring things very closely and Detective Ross Chibe was called on to provide…

palos heights police logo

Former hospital employee charged in Palos Heights identity theft

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A Hazel Crest man was charged last week with aggravated identity theft stemming from an incident that happened on December 27. Palos Heights police took a report on December 27 from a patient at Northwestern Palos Hospital who reported their wallet was missing and then observed two unauthorized charges on…

DVN Getty Insurance House Ad
Regional Capri Restaurant House Ad