MENDON, Ill. – Former President Donald Trump on Saturday night used a demonstration in the country’s west-central Illinois marketplace to support Darren Bailey for the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday’s primary election, as he also reiterated his support for the US rep. Mary Miller and took a victory round for the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Darren is a farmer, and he’s a fighter, and he’s been an excellent warrior in the Illinois State Senate, where he’s completely, completely respected by them all,” Trump told a crowd of thousands at the Adams County Fairgrounds near Quincy.
“He wants to crack down on the violent crime that is devouring our democratically governed cities and restore the state of Illinois to greatness. Darren has my full and total support, “Trump said, describing the first term, re-election, seeking Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker” one of the worst governors in America. “
Bailey, an ardent Trump supporter who has actively sought the former president’s approval as the cornerstone of success in a six-way GOP primary race, said he will work to get Illinois to welcome Trump to a new bid from the It White House in 2024.
“Here’s the deal. I will not lie to anyone and I will not let anything go unnoticed. And when I see it, I will name it,” Bailey said after Trump told the story of Bailey plucking a misplaced hair out of the former president’s head while taking pictures before the convention.
“We’ve worked for ourselves here in Illinois, friends,” Bailey said. “I have made a promise to President Trump that in 2024 Illinois will roll the red carpet for him because Illinois will be ready for President Trump.”
Trump lost Illinois by 17% of the vote in his winning bid for the presidency in 2016 and his losing re-election in 2020.
Trump, who has often postponed endorsements unless he was sure of a candidate’s victory, predicted that Bailey would “win the primary election very big and you will go ahead and win the election.”
Bailey, a 2020 Trump presidential nominee, comes from a downstate region of Illinois where voters have solidly supported the former president and he has sought to cultivate their support in his bid for governor as a support base that has gradually grown throughout the state .
He has also been the most demonstrably outspoken critic of Pritzker, beginning with lawsuits – ultimately unsuccessful – that sought to block the Democratic governor’s orders for pandemic mitigation while promoting an evangelical land-populist candidacy condemning Chicago’s urban cultural policy.
Bailey is in a field of candidates that includes Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, investor Jesse Sullivan of Petersburg, businessman Gary Rabine of Bull Valley, former State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo and Hazel Crest lawyer Max Solomon.
Trump’s visit was also aimed at strengthening the turnout for Miller, whose first-year term has been hit by controversy, in a contest against the five-year-old Republican U.S. rep. Rodney Davis in the newly drawn 15th Congressional District. The battle between Miller and Davis, an outgrowth of democratic redistribution after the 2020 census, is the only one between Republican congressmen in the state’s primary election on Tuesday.
Trump backed Miller on Jan. 1 and held a subsequent fundraiser for her on his property in Mar-a-Lago. But Davis has the support of a large portion of the local GOP establishment, including 31 of the district’s 35 GOP county presidents, as well as neighboring congressmen Darin LaHood of Peoria and Mike Bost of Murphysboro.
“With Mary, you can choose a fearless America First Patriot,” Trump said. “She’s an incredible woman, one I’ve gotten to know really well. She’s been with me since day one. No bad smoking statements, you know, that say bad things about me two years ago, three years ago, for a years ago, “Trump said, adding that she is” a warrior for our movement. “
After attacking the two Republicans in Parliament’s select committee investigating Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol uprising, the former president told the crowd: “If you want to send a message to (Wyoming US Rep.) Liz. Cheney , (Illinois) “US Representative Adam Kinzinger and (Democratic Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi and the fake news media, so this Tuesday you have to cast your vote for a truly wonderful person, Mary Miller.”
Miller said that “on behalf of the MAGA Patriots of America” she wanted to thank Trump “for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court”, but did not elaborate on what she meant. A campaign spokesman said after the demonstration that Miller meant to say “right to life” but spoke incorrectly.
The court’s decision, Miller said, “would never have been possible if the Never-Trump RINOs had gotten their way,” – using the term to label Davis as “Republican In Name Only.”
After Trump’s speech, Davis predicted he would win Tuesday, even though he tried to emphasize his support for the former president’s policy while in the White House.
“I have always said that I am proud of my conservative experience of working with Trump when he was in office. Together, we protected the unborn, defended the Second Amendment, lowered taxes, secured our border, supported our police and farmers, and so much more, “Davis said in a statement.
Trump tried to take credit for the appointment of three conservative judges during his presidency and their role in the 6-3 decision Friday, which overturned the court’s 1973 ruling that gave women the right to seek abortion without unnecessary government interference.
“The court pronounced a victory for the constitution, a victory for the rule of law and, above all, a victory for life,” Trump said. Referring to generations of the anti-abortion movement as well as constitutional conservatives, “your boundless love, sacrifice, and devotion have finally been fully rewarded.”
The crowd shouted, “Thank you, Trump.”
Trump continued, as usual at his White House rallies, to try to push his unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election, while attacking Parliament’s committee inquiry into his role in the January 6, 2021 parliamentary election attack . US Capitol.
Thousands of Trump supporters gathered inside and on the outskirts of the fairgrounds, not far from the Mississippi River slopes toward Missouri. Many wore red “Make America Great Again” hats, while some others wore shirts proclaiming “Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president” and “God, Guns and Trump.”
Wearing a shirt declaring “Free America,” Andres Rios, who said he grew up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood before moving to Florida several years ago, maintained his belief in Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that his re-election was stolen due to widespread vote fraud, saying his beliefs were based on a cynical stance on Chicago policy.
“I’m just tired of those things, you know?” said Rios.
Rhonda Goodwin of nearby Quincy symbolizes the influence Trump still has over Republican voters, admitting she did not know much about Miller’s two years in Congress, but said the former president’s approval was good enough for her.
“Anyone that Trump supports is likely to be the winner,” Goodwin said. “I did not do a whole lot of my own research. I figured his people have examined her more than I ever could, and if he supports her, that’s all I need.”
Born and raised in the suburb of Naperville, Miller has joined the far-right extremists of the National GOP, a factor in winning Trump’s approval, and the former president and their allies were prominent at the meeting.
Freshman US Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who voted against vote certification from the state Electoral College and criticized the January 6 poll, told the audience, “My girlfriend, Mary Miller, is the bomb. Illinois, if you want a fighter, Mary is your girl.”
Boebert, like Miller, an opponent of gun regulation tried to criticize Davis as a Republican in Name Only by calling himself a “professional political RINO hunter,” but instead ended up delivering a critique of his colleague, MiIller.
“Now, if you really want someone to just go to Washington, DC and play these political games and eat fancy steak dinners – I’ve heard beef is better in Illinois, is that right? It’s better here than it is. in DC? – you want Mary Miller, “Boebert told the audience.
Pearson reported from Chicago and Gorner reported from Mendon.