Trump-backed Darren Bailey wins in Illinois GOP gubernatorial primary

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The Associated Press projects that Darren Bailey has won the Republican gubernatorial primary in Illinois and will face off in November’s general election with Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

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Bailey was one of a half dozen candidates in the GOP primary that also included Richard Irvin, the mayor of Aurora, Illinois in metropolitan Chicago. Irvin’s campaign was boosted by millions in support from billionaire conservative Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel, the multinational hedge fund and financial services behemoth.

Aurora, Illinois, police officers and Aurora mayor Richard Irvin, second from right, during a news conference after a 2018 shooting incident in the city. 
(Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

But thanks to attacks from the right on his conservative credentials, and a deluge of ads from Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association blasting him for months, Irvin lost his front-runner status in public opinion polling in recent weeks. 

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The Democrats meddling to sink Irvin’s campaign scored a massive victory on Saturday, when former President Donald Trump — at a rally in Illinois — endorsed Bailey, whom Democrats view as the weaker general election candidate.

Illinois Gubernatorial hopeful Darren Bailey greets Donald Trump after receiving an endorsement during a with former the former president at the Adams County Fairgrounds on June 25, 2022 in Mendon, Illinois

Illinois Gubernatorial hopeful Darren Bailey greets Donald Trump after receiving an endorsement during a with former the former president at the Adams County Fairgrounds on June 25, 2022 in Mendon, Illinois
(Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Pritzker, thanks to his incumbency and his massive campaign funding and name recognition advantages, defeated a primary challenge from the left from Beverly Miles, a nurse and U.S. Army veteran from Chicago. 

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Miles’s platform includes Medicare for All and reparations for descendants of slaves.

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