Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Bailey turning some attention to down-ballot races
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Bailey turning some attention to down-ballot races

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

“We’re not the party of Trump,” Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie told an interviewer a couple of months ago. “I’m in the Republican Party and the party of Lincoln. And at the end of the day, the important thing is that we’re standing up for ideas and ideals and not a personality. And that is what the Republican Party has been about for decades, and what I believe we’re going to be going forward.”

At least as far as the Illinois governor’s race goes, that now seems less likely.

As you undoubtedly know by now, state Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) did not appear to be gaining traction until the GOP primary battlefield was reshaped as a referendum on former President Donald Trump by big money pumped in from billionaire Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Republican billionaire Dick Uihlein.

The question now is whether that Trump referendum will move down the ballot. Two polls showed a very tight Republican attorney general primary with huge numbers of people who can’t decide between Ken Griffin-backed Steve Kim and outlandish, far-right COVID attorney Tom DeVore, who has been endorsed by Bailey. And Trump and Bailey have both endorsed U.S. Rep. Mary Miller over fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.

And what about the state legislature?

While the House Republican Organization is formally staying out of the race in the open 87th District primary, House GOP Leader Jim Durkin has contributed $5,000 to candidate Mary Burress.

And a committee controlled by Durkin ally Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) has maxed out to Burress with a $59,900 contribution. Burress, the Tazewell County treasurer, is running against Tazewell County Board member and physician William Hauter.

The reason I mention this is that Burress is one of the only House Republican candidates I can find who is openly touting her support for former President Trump. “Mary Burress is the pro-Trump Republican working to make Illinois great again,” declares a headline on one mailer, which also features a photo of her next to the former POTUS.

With Bailey surging and a recent Chicago Sun-Times poll showing Trump still very popular with party members, it would seem to be a no-brainer for conservative Republican candidates to publicly attach themselves to one or the other or both in their advertising and social media posts.

Bailey has decided to take the initiative. And there are some unifying threads here: Durkin and the 2019 gas tax hike that Durkin eventually supported.

“We’ve got a whole list of anti-establishment reformers who we’re going to be endorsing in the next 24 hours,” a top Bailey official told me late last week.

Included on the list is Sen. Win Stoller (R-East Peoria). Stoller is up against Brett Nicklaus, who is backed by Durkin and others close to him.

There’s no love at all between Bailey and Durkin. The two clashed often when Bailey was in the House, and Durkin fully backed Richard Irvin. Both Durkin and Irvin’s running mate Rep. Avery Bourne voted to double the motor fuel tax in 2019, something Bailey often pounds home on the campaign trail as the price of gas has skyrocketed.

Bailey doesn’t seem to have any ideas about how to repair and upgrade our woefully dilapidated infrastructure without that money, but nobody seems to care.

Bailey also endorsed Republican Don Debolt over Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield), who voted for the gas tax increase as well. And Bailey’s backing former GOP Rep. John Cabello in his race against a candidate backed by a trade union that pushed hard to raise the gas tax. Cabello voted “no.”

Kent Gray is running against Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield), who voted with his party leadership on the gas tax. Gray has not raised a lot of money, has a thick opposition research file, and Butler hasn’t taken any chances by spending big and campaigning hard. If Bailey’s coattails can drag Gray across the line … whew.

Bailey’s also supporting Travis Weaver against Rep. Mark Luft (R-Pekin), who wasn’t around for the gas tax vote but is backed heavily by Durkin and some unions. And he’s supporting Rep. Dave Welter’s opponent Jed Davis. Welter (R-Morris) is in House Republican leadership, so you already know where he was in 2019.

That was one tough vote in 2019. It took guts to take it, and I still think, despite the prices, it was the right thing to do for the state’s future. We’ll see if Bailey tries to connect those tax dots in voters’ minds or whether, as time expires, he’ll just try to win these races with his personality alone.

Subscribers know more.

* Press release…

State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey says Don Debolt is the only candidate for Senate in the 54th District Republican voters can trust to represent their values in Springfield.

“I fully support and endorse Don Debolt for State Senator,” Bailey said. “Don’s a true conservative, a businessman, and someone who will help reform Springfield and restore Illinois. Unfortunately, Don’s opponent betrayed taxpayers and voted to double the gas tax. We need to send principled reformers to Springfield who won’t join Democrats to raise taxes, and I hope voters will join me in supporting conservative Don Debolt for State Senate.”

The current average fuel price in Illinois is $5.53 per gallon nearly $1 higher than the prices in Missouri which are $4.67 per gallon.

“The reality is working families are paying far more in gas prices in Illinois than motorists in surrounding states because of the state’s high taxes,” Debolt said. “My opponent helped make that happen by surrendering his conservative values to help Democrats make Illinois’ gas taxes the second highest in the country. Voters can count on me to consistently represent the values we share as their voice in Springfield.”

Don Debolt’s life is centered around faith and family. He is a proud conservative Republican, a small business owner, and a C.P.A. for over 45 years. Don is running for State Senate because he is concerned with the future of southern Illinois. Springfield is broken, and high taxes and extreme policies push our children and grandchildren out of state. Don and his wife Linda live in Stewardson; they have been blessed with two sons and five grandchildren. The primary election is June 28th.


  1. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:03 am:

    ==Bailey doesn’t seem to have any ideas about how to repair and upgrade our woefully dilapidated infrastructure without that money, but nobody seems to care.==
    Politics in the GOP have become a cult of personality.
    Policy is ignored.

  2. - Watchful eye. - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:05 am:

    Thanks Mike Z. Nice work. Instead of agreeing on a candidate that can wi. In November you shoved a guy down everyone’s throat because you knew best. Now the party is Darren Baileys. Political malpractice, grift and greed all worked into one.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    Rich, good stuff, great explanations to the “status” of things

    To that too, anyone who thinks Pence is a moderate, as he spoke here in Chicago in the recent day(s), that’s unfair to moderates, as Pence has never been a moderate, before, during, after Trump… and one good thing at one good moment to stave off an insurrection does not make Pence a moderate, even compared to today’s “cult Republicans”

    To the post?

    Well, the irony is not lost on me, at least, as the SGOP tweeted they were looking for someone in Comms, all the while the message is clear… the GOP here in IL, the party that rejects Kinzinger here in IL, it’s a party moving toward “cult” not “far Right” thinking.

    If I’m Durkin… a coup may happen from *all* sides, but we may not even realize who will emerge Leader.

    I’ll wait to hear back from the SGOP for my interview…

  4. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:22 am:

    Conservatives have been whining in Illinois for decades the Republican nominees weren’t conservative enough and that a lot of conservative refused to vote in November. They argue if they just had their favorite candidate once that person would surely win. What excuse will they have when Bailey loses?

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:24 am:

    ===What excuse will they have when Bailey loses? ===

    Claim that the establishment GOP undermined him

  6. - Fizz - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    If Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri can function with lower overall taxes(including lower gas taxes) and have roads of similar quality, maybe Illinois could learn a thing or two from neighboring states. Also, gas taxes are regressive. Most progressives are against regressive taxes…right?

  7. - Kristen - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:29 am:

    Looks like the Trumpsters are trying bury Durkin, Irvin and Griffin by labeling them as “Liberal Democrats.” They should be careful what they wish for…they may end getting their wish or a more moderate 3rd party.

  8. - Curt Mercandante - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    When Durkin and his lapdogs start courting dem voters to cross over and vote for Welter Houston we have a problem. Going to be a long night next Tuesday for the Durkin lapgastax dogs.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    ===If Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri===

    Tell me you’ve never driven in certain states without telling me you’ve never driven in certain states.

    I-65 in Indiana as a first example…

  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    === “We’re not the party of Trump,” ===

    McConchie can say it until he’s blue in the face, but he now belongs to the MAGA Trump party. The party is dancing to the MAGAT tunes and his own choice for governor is touting its themes.

    Because of the demographics of Illinois, McConchie is trying to be MAGAT light. Bailey won’t let him. He is enjoying his position as primary leader and will play it aggressively.

  11. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:42 am:

    @Fizz -

    So Indiana’s gas tax just increased and is just $.07 lower than in Illinois but Indiana taxes diesel at $.07 more than Illinois does. From at Indiana gas tax story..

    “Indiana has two taxes on gasoline — a 7% sales tax and a tax directed to infrastructure projects.”

    Iowa increased their gas tax in 2015 under a Republican Governor.

    Missouri also raised their gas tax a year or two ago. Now its still way less than Illinois, but comparing the tax needs of the states is apples and oranges and ignores the fact that Missouri has a graduated income tax rate with a rate at 5.4% (which is? Higher than the rate in Illinois)

  12. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:44 am:

    Just to be clear - that 5.4% rate is the highest rate you can pay in Missouri. But still its higher than the flat rate for all incomes in Illinois.

  13. - Fizz - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    I65 doesn’t bother me driving to Indy…ok, in the winter when the wind is blowing it is snowing, l65 bothers me the same way i55 and i57 bother me.
    There is no reason our leaders can’t learn from the other states.

  14. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:46 am:

    Would be nice too hear what Any of the candidates would actually do to address major issues Illinois faces instead of political attacks and grandstanding. Fix issues at DCFS & Vets Affairs ? What about a Long term Infrastructure plan? Education funding ? Pension debt etc etc

  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 9:49 am:

    ===There is no reason our leaders can’t learn from the other states.===

    What exactly is there to learn?

    Be specific.


    Illinois is spending to make better roads and *safer* bridges that are in dire disrepair… or are you ok with bridges that might be or will be come dangerous?

  16. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:08 am:

    The bailey slate riding his coattails

  17. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    “We’re not the party of Trump,”

    Ohhhhhhhh yes they are.

  18. - walker - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    Given where he stands and what he had to work with, Bailey is working hard and delivering an impressive campaign.

    I just don’t think he will have the goods come November.

  19. - Juice - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:17 am:

    Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan all receive hundreds of billions if not millions more in Federal matching dollars from Medicaid because their residents have significantly lower per capita income that we do.

    So I guess one thing we could learn from those states is to get people to stop making as much money. I doubt that’s what Fizz is suggesting though.

  20. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:19 am:

    Debolt talking about southern Illinois is…..something.
    He checked his district map….right?

  21. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    ==Looks like the Trumpsters are trying bury Durkin, Irvin and Griffin by labeling them as “Liberal Democrats.” They should be careful what they wish for…they may end getting their wish or a more moderate 3rd party==

    Durkin will go hard right, because that’s where the money and the power are, and those two things are telling the constituency where to go.

    Irvin, should he lose the primary, will return to being a well-compensated local entity, and a non-entity at any level higher.

    Griffin, should he value influence over whatever faint principles he has, can make the jump to the far-right and pretend he’s still anti-Trump, he just happens to back the pro-Trump slate on x, y, and z. Or he can kick back with his $25 billion, knowing that if the country burns down he’ll never get singed.

    The idea of any of these three aligning with Democrats is borderline hallucinatory. Unless the national Democrat orgs keep pushing further right in an effort to be a “moderate” option just to the left of Republicans, which… well, I should probably check the latest odds on that.

  22. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:32 am:

    - lower overall taxes -

    3 out of 4 have graduated income tax rates.

  23. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    This Sunday Sun Times column always seems to get me thinking beyond the same old headlines on the Governor races I generally see every day in the media.
    Got to admit I did not give a thought to Bailey having coat tails, but in a very low turnout election adding some friends by endorsing their candidates could turn out to be a big plus.

  24. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    Missouri has personal property tax.

    Iowa’s top marginal rate is 8.5%.

    Indiana’s state sales tax is .75% higher than Illinois’.

    Indiana allows for counites to impose a local income tax. So in Indianapolis you pay 3.2% in state income taxes and then 2.02% in county income tax…. that rate is 5.22%…. that’s HIGHER than Illinois flat income tax rate.

  25. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    =If Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri can function with lower overall taxes(including lower gas taxes) and have roads of similar quality, maybe Illinois could learn a thing or two from neighboring states.=

    What roads should we tear up and eliminate? We have too many miles of roads apparently as Illinois has nearly double the Interstate miles of those states mentioned and many thousands of miles more roads overall.

    Should we get rid of all that GDP and those extra people?

    Do some research next time.

  26. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jun 21, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    How about another episode of “Ask Avery” Today’s question comes from Jeanie who writes would I better off taking the State School Supt. job, running Public Health where I could send out raiding parties to stop abortions or State Police Supt. … So many choices. Thanks, Love Your Winter Coats.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* After being charged with grooming and possessing images depicting child sexual abuse, Nicholas Kachiroubas to be ousted from ICCB (Updated)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* You reap what you sow
* Coverage roundup: US Supreme Court upholds domestic violence gun law (Updated x2)
* US Attorney's office files blistering motion supporting Haymarket Center's discrimination lawsuit against Itasca (Updated)
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* It’s just a bill
* Stop Illinois From Making Credit Cards Hard To Use
* Question of the day
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller