Legislator who sued over COVID-19 rules announces he's running for governor

  • State Rep. Darren Bailey was forced to leave a May 20 legislative session at the Bank of Springfield Center for refusing to wear a mask.

    State Rep. Darren Bailey was forced to leave a May 20 legislative session at the Bank of Springfield Center for refusing to wear a mask. Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register

 
 
Updated 2/22/2021 9:05 PM

EFFINGHAM, Ill. -- Facing a packed-in, almost entirely unmasked crowd of supporters, conservative firebrand Darren Bailey on Monday kicked off his bid to unseat Gov. J.B. Pritzker next year -- citing the "utter failure" of the Chicago Democrat.

"Gov. Pritzker and the Democrats have failed us, and it's time to fix it," the Republican state senator from Xenia told the crowd. "Gov. Pritzker says it's not a big deal that people are leaving the state in droves -- 850,000 is not a trickle, governor, it's a torrent."

 

Bailey, 54, has made a name for himself battling Pritzker over COVID-19 and arguing that downstate Illinois should break away from Chicago.

But on Monday, he portrayed himself as an everyman who can unify forgotten residents.

• For the full report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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