Illinois Republicans to choose candidate to face Governor Pritzker :: WRAL.com

— Illinois Republicans will choose a candidate on Tuesday to face Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, a billionaire who has spent millions trying to get the rival he wants and increase his already considerable advantage in the state this fall.

Among the Republican favorites is Conservative Senator Darren Bailey, a farmer who received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump on Saturday. Bailey has raised her statewide profile during the pandemic by opposing Pritzker’s COVID-19 measures. He sued Pritzker over a stay-at-home order issued by the governor and was escorted off the floor of the Legislative Assembly for refusing to wear a mask.

Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, and the Democratic Governors Association spent big on advertising to help Bailey win the GOP primary, including with ads noting he’s “100% pro-life.” . While those posts have boosted Bailey’s standing with Republican voters, they risk hurting him in a general election in a place where Democrats control all state offices and voters have rejected Trump by double digits at two times.

Bailey dismissed the idea that he can’t win and criticized “establishment Republicans” for contributing to decades of mismanagement in the state.

“We are going to send a message to the Republican establishment that we will not be bullied into sacrificing our principles to elect their candidates,” he told a crowd at a campaign stop in rural Illinois this month. -this.

Republican Richard Irvin, a former prosecutor who served as the first black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city, was considered a top contender when he joined the race, with financial backing from billionaire Ken Griffin . But although Griffin invested $50 million in Irvin’s campaign, he was damaged by repeated attacks from rivals, including Pritzker.

Unlike Bailey and his four other rivals, Irvin avoided talking about abortion or whether he voted for Trump. Aurora’s mayor instead focused on issues like crime in Chicago and legislation Pritzker signed that he said made policing harder. He said he opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother.

Irvin also argued that he was the only GOP candidate who could beat Pritzker in November because he could win votes from Republicans, independents and some Democrats.

“The reality is that I’m the candidate who can win this race, which is why the attacks happen,” Irvin said during a visit to a manufacturing plant.

The other Republican candidates are business owner Gary Rabine, venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan, former senator Paul Schimpf and attorney Max Solomon.

Pritzker, whose lone challenger in the Democratic primary is Beverly Miles, said he wasn’t afraid of any rivals until November.

“I’m going to play anybody across the aisle and we’ll win,” Pritzker said.

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