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Former gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey announces run for Congress

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(The Center Square) – Darren Bailey, the former Illinois state senator who was defeated in his challenge to incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker last November, announced he is running for Congress.

Bailey will challenge five-term incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, who represents 34 Southern Illinois counties in the 12th Congressional District.

“Let us declare with a resounding voice that we will not allow our freedoms to be trampled on, we will not be silenced, we will not surrender,” Bailey said on Independence Day in front of supporters at his farm in Xenia. “Together, we will take back our country.”

Bailey said his top priorities if elected are to fight for Southern Illinois and against the “woke agenda” pushed by radical Democrats, to revive the economy through domestic production and promotion of American innovation, to secure the border and fight crime by empowering law enforcement and giving them the tools they need to keep communities safe.

Bailey is a Clay County farmer whose run for governor was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and Bost is a five-term congressman who was also endorsed by Trump.

This is the first real contest for Bost, who was first elected to Congress in 2015, but hasn’t been challenged in a primary since 2018.

In a statement Tuesday, Bost’s campaign manager said it was a shame that Bailey would make a run and “divide conservatives at a time when it’s critical that we be united against Joe Biden and the extreme liberals in Congress.”

Illinois’ general primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

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