Bailey, 56, spent most of his life on the farmland as he and his sons operate his 12,000-acre family farm in Southern Illinois growing corn, wheat and soybeans while also running a trucking company and an excavation company.
His campaign website boasts his 17 years on the North Clay Unit 25 教育委员会, 12 of those years as the board’s president, and how he and his wife founded the Full Armor Christian Academy for children pre-K through 12th grade. But it wasn’t until 2018 when he first entered Springifield politics being elected to the state house, where he became a prominent challenger of Democratic Gov. [object Window]. Pritzker’s COVID lockdown order and various mandates throughout the pandemic.
Now a state senator, Bailey is hoping to take Pritzker’s job in November. But he first must compete in a heated primary for the Republican nomination on June 28.
One dominant message of Bailey’s candidacy is that he wants to restore “local control” so that cities and counties across the state don’t have to abide by the political agenda of their governor. 例如, despite opposing woke ideology in schools, Bailey has no intention of banning subjects from being taught from the governor’s desk, a departure from Republican Florida Gov. 罗恩·迪桑蒂斯’ new education law that made national headlines earlier this year. Bailey instead wants to allow parents to each take action against their school boards or vote with feet and pursue a voucher program where taxpayer money funds the students with parents choosing where they enroll their children rather than fund the schools.
During an interview last week with Fox News Digital, Bailey discusses how he intends to govern, the attacks he’s facing on the campaign trail and how he believes a staunch Trump supporter like himself can win over voters in a blue state like Illinois.
Amid ongoing inflation and fears of a recession, Bailey is convinced reducing taxes and regulations will offer an economic bounce and attract businesses into the Land of Lincoln, which has suffered from an exodus of residents in recent years.
“We ease the burden on the people that live here, and then we start to give other people reasons to move here when we create jobs,” Bailey said. “And right now here in Illinois, businesses and manufacturing is- 你懂, they’re imposed on coming here because of many of the needless regulations the unemployment insurance, the high work comp rates, so that’s what we’ve got to tackle.”
On the subject of the gun debate, which has been refueled following the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas, Bailey pointed to the 41 shootings and nine deaths that took place in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend.
But his focus was on the “real issue” of mental health, not guns, saying the 18-year-old shooter who murdered 19 children and two teachers was “screaming for help” and based on reports he saw “a system that let him down” between his school and family.
“Government is never the answer. And all of these solutions that we’re seeing so far is bringing government in to impose more laws and more hoops to jump through,” Bailey said.” We have got to work together as a society-work together and come up with real solutions.”
The GOP lawmaker said he is currently drafting legislation he says will raise mental health awareness in schools and make mental health resources available but neither he nor his campaign offered specifics of what exactly would be in the bill.
Bailey touted that “all the pro-family and pro-life groups” have endorsed his candidacy and vowed to end taxpayer-funded abortions in Illinois if elected. He reiterated his mission to “make abortions unnecessary” by empowering churches and civic groups across the state “to make sure that pregnant women are supported” and to make adoption easier in Illinois.
“I think that if we come together and provide real solutions, real options and making sure that pregnant women understand they’ve got someone with them all the way, I think that might take some fear out of, 你懂, the option of having to get an abortion,” Bailey said.
When asked if there was a timeline cutoff in a pregnancy where he believed abortion should be illegal, Bailey pointed to a legislative proposal in Springfield that would ban third-trimester abortions but stopped short of expressing support for it, 告诉福克斯新闻 “I want to focus on things that are going to unite us” and allow any bills to go through the general assembly in Springfield, suggesting any limits on abortion would be difficult to implement in a liberal state like Illinois.
During a televised debate last month, Bailey promised to fire Dr. Carmen Ayala, 伊利诺伊州’ Superintendent of Education for the implementation of critical race theory ideology and teachings on sexual orientation and gender ideology in schools to reverse any directives that took place under Pritzker. He also called for local school boards and parents to come together to decide the curriculum.
然而, while he believes that school choice and emboldening parents with vouchers to send their children to the right school is the “ultimate answer,” Bailey doesn’t believe he should be dictating at a state level what should and shouldn’t be taught, 说 “If a local community wants to adopt some of these woke policies, well then let them. That is their decision.”
This draws a sharp contrast to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law that bans sex education from kindergarten through third grade.
“你懂, we have a situation right now and the community of Skokie where their school board has come out, and they have said this sex education bill doesn’t go far enough. They want to implement it in preschool. I think that’s egregious and outrageous, but if that’s what they want, that’s the community,” Bailey said. “It comes to empowering parents. I believe that parents always have the best interest of their children in mind. 所以, 第一, parents need to get involved and take their schools back if that’s the case and if that’s their concern. And number two if that’s, 你懂, their education of their child is of utmost importance, so then they should have the choice of where they want their children to attend school. And if they’re paying taxes, they should have the ability to decide where that money goes to follow their child.”
“I was one that in 2018, I got bothered by continual tax increases. And when my state representative started, 你懂, supporting tax increases, I got involved. I got involved, and it’s awfully easy to sit back and complain, 而且你知道, share your drama on Facebook, but I got involved, and I realized that if I’m going to enact true change, I must be involved. 所以, 你懂, I got elected to the state house, I thought I was going to turn-limit myself for ten years and then the door open to run for the Senate position. And so here I am. I am a big advocate for local control. I want less government. I want the government out of our schools and I want our schools to return to teaching that which helps our children excel and find themselves and local communities with the help of parents, school boards-that’s what they do. The government needs to be out of this. That’s what’s causing all of this problem,” he later told Fox News.
Regarding the trans athlete debate, Bailey personally opposes allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports and would sign legislation that would ban it but signaled he would not take action by executive order unless the situation got “out of hand.”
Bailey decried the lack of “deal-making” taking place between Democrats and Republicans in Springfield and acknowledged the disconnect to tackle Illinois’ debt crisis with the left blaming a revenue problem and the right blaming reckless spending. He is hopeful that if elected, he can appoint new directors to government agencies that will offer transparency on costs that can be cut waste from the state budget, but offered little details as to how specifically he can get Democratic lawmakers to the negotiating table.
To address crime, particularly in Chicago, Bailey asserted that one of his first acts as governor is sitting down with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council to find out “what they need” on a state level. On whether he would deploy the National Guard to tackle Chicago’s crime, Bailey said he would “绝对” send reinforcements if riots broke out across the city like in the summer of 2020 from the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, but he would not send in the National Guard today, reemphasizing “local control.”
“The people of Chicago, they’re gonna have to wake up and get involved,” Bailey explained. “If they literally have enough of this like I’m hearing they are, they’re going to have to show up and vote in someone who’s been standing up and who will have the backs of the police officers-that would be me. They’re going to have to show up next year and to create change in their own leadership and in their own city council. So no, back to the local control. lt does firmly lie in their hands until the mass riots break out.”
Bailey has been the subject of attack ads from the Democratic Governors Association declaring he’s “too conservative for Illinois” while GOP primary rival Jesse Sullivan acknowledged he’s a “great conservative” but pointed to a bill Bailey co-sponsored that would separate Chicago from the rest of the state, suggesting he will alienate key votes in the Windy City a Republican needs to win the governorship in November.
He dismissed criticism of his bill targeting Chicago as “just a punchline” 至 “try and create alienation.” And he flatly rejected the notion that he’s “too conservative” for such a blue state.
“What do we think of when we think of Chicago? We think of crime. We think of corruption in the government. We think of dysfunction. And this is not the people’s fault to the extent that they haven’t stepped up and got involved and actually demanded a cleansing of the system. What I do know is what we’ve been doing for years in Chicago and Illinois is not working,” Bailey told Fox News. “And I can’t think of the last time when we’ve had a true conservative in that office. 所以是的, I think my conservative values will resonate with the people of Chicago and I think that the fact that I’ve been standing up for the people will ultimately, 我相信, win the day. So no, I don’t think there’s anything true to this idea of being ‘too conservative.’ I think when you look at my background serving on the school board as I did working with people, I’ve got what it takes to sit down and have that discussion and bring people together.”
Bailey has repeated touted his past support for Donald Trump and has said he is actively seeking his endorsement, but when asked if his strong ties to the former president can be a danger on the campaign trail, Bailey doubled down on believing in Trump’s “America First agenda,” declaring himself the “America First candidate in this race.”
“When we start focusing on Illinois and bringing back business and industry and lowering our taxes and protecting our people here and rooting out crime and corruption and building our schools up, that’s the part that I appreciated so much about President Trump and that’s the part that I hope that I can emulate right here in Illinois, an Illinois First agenda,” Bailey said.
In recent polls, Bailey ranks second behind Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin. The state senator challenged Irvin’s GOP bona fides over his past voting record backing Democrats.
“Everything that Richard Irvin says… I mean it’s been exposed as a lie,” Bailey said. “The city of Aurora is the highest taxed city in the state. Mayor Irvin imposed a two-cent gas tax in addition to everything else for the residents… The pensions are a disaster. Mayor Irvin told the police to stand down and Mayor Irvin congratulated and thanked J.B. Pritzker in January of 21 over the Safety Act when our police were handcuffed and our criminals had all of a sudden more rights than then even we the people do. I see a serious problem here.”
When asked if he would pledge to support the Republican nominee in November, Bailey said he would “struggle to support Richard Irvin because there is not a Republican bone in his body.”
最后, when addressing voters’ concerns about electing a repeat of Illinois’ stalemate one-term GOP governor Bruce Rauner, who was defeated in 2018 by Pritzker, Bailey asserted that he, unlike Rauner, 是一个 “true conservative.”
“保守, 自由派, whatever you want to call yourself, we realized that, 你懂, [Rauner] wasn’t true to his word. I’ve got the record,” Bailey said. “When you look and the fact that I stood up for the people of Illinois on these mask mandates and as a matter of fact, when I did, I said local control. If a local community wants to impose mandates, more power to you. If people don’t like it, then they elect in new leadership, or they move.”
“That’s actually probably who I’m, 你懂, wrestling with the most right now is the Republican establishment because they’re afraid of someone coming in and returning the power to the people. That’s what I believe this is all about. So I’ve been very consistent with my messaging. I’ve been standing. I cannot, will not be bought by the system. And I’ve been representing the people very well. And I think at the end of the day, the people of Illinois respect to that,” 他加了.
福克斯新闻’ Andrew Kugle contributed to this report.