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Bailey’s campaign manager profiled

Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I’m glad to see Darren Bailey’s campaign manager Jose Durbin get some recognition. You might not believe this, but the young man is very easy to work with and understands a lot

How did you come to meet Darren Bailey? “For a few years, I worked for [former state Sen.] Kyle McCarter as his legislative aide and chief of staff. He asked me to go to Kenya with him,” where he served as an ambassador during the Trump administration. “But my wife refused. To be fair, she was getting her undergrad degree to be a teacher. … Then Kyle introduced me to Darren. I’m his longest staffer,” having worked on his state House and Senate campaigns before the governor’s race.

The biggest challenge? “Darren being an outsider. When I’d start talking to people about Darren for governor, people would say a candidate from southern Illinois didn’t have a chance. They’d say, ‘He’s a great guy, but he can’t win.’”

What’s your take on the Democratic Governors Association ads that described Bailey as far right? “I didn’t like the meddling. More than the DGA, it was help from the Super PAC [headed by Dan Proft and funded by Dick Uihlein] that really made a difference. … We tried not to pay attention to that and just kept our noses to the ground.”

What strategies helped you in the primary? “Facebook was huge, but it didn’t start as a campaign strategy. When JB shut down the state [because of the pandemic], Cindy [Bailey’s wife] went on Facebook to pray with people. Then Darren started going on and talking about different subjects and it just blossomed. We don’t spend a lot of money on it. Darren had to get used to it. But now, if you ask Darren Bailey one thing, he’ll tell you he loves social media.” […]

What’s the biggest challenge going forward? “Pritzker’s money. But honestly, I don’t think money wins the race. We have a great staff. We won’t be outworked. We’ll leave everything on the ground.”

Say what you will about Bailey, but this young man is going places.

       

51 Comments
  1. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:17 am:

    “Darren being an outsider.”

    Beetle is not an outsider. He is an incumbent state senator running for governor.


  2. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:19 am:

    We need more young people like fellow in politics.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    At least this young man will represent a candidate Republican voters overwhelmingly want, instead of someone who barely won the primary. If Bailey loses, he can look his supporters in the eye and feel proud because he is true to them and their values.

    But the “outsider” bit is too much. Manchin tries that, the Washington outsider from the heartland. Please, they’ve been in government for a long time. They’re not outsiders.


  4. - Meredith - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:23 am:

    There is a potential David versus Goliath campaign theme that the Bailey camp, I imagine, will explore. Jose seems to be alluding to this theme in his interview.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:24 am:

    Good stuff, good to see youth and smarts getting it done in the trade.

    Keep plugging.

    OW


  6. - Occasionally Moderated - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:25 am:

    ‘He’s a great guy…’

    Disclaimer: Paid testimonial. Individual results may vary.


  7. - King Louis XVI - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    — Did you ever run for office? “When I was 18, I ran for the library board and lost. Then I ran for the county board and lost. It was a good experience, but I think generally voters don’t like young people. They get set in their ways. They don’t like change.”

    Ex-Rep. Aaron Schock would like a word.

    A particularly uninformed, um, analysis of politics.

    He’s not going far with that dim view.


  8. - Curious citizen - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:39 am:

    Whether Jose is a great young man or not, I’m so tired of the complaint that Pritzker and the DGA “meddled” in the Republican primary. It’s not like Richard Irvin was the strongest candidate in the field and they destroyed him; he kinda destroyed himself.


  9. - slow down - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:48 am:

    His answer on guns and abortion rights was very much, let’s please talk about something else. Very telling.


  10. - watchful eye - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:48 am:

    Nice work Jose. Smoked the arrogant know it all Mike Z. (Z lost every race) Don’t soar to close to the sun or the same thing will happen to you. Congrats


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    ===Don’t soar to close to the sun or the same thing will happen to you===

    Z will ponder your anger and angst towards him as he is still cashing checks…

    Two real critical things… to Z and losses here?

    1) Bailey’s 57% of the vote in a 6-way race showed a candidate in tune with the base GOP

    2) Bailey’s help from Uihlein/Pritzker/DGA allowed the GOP base to find Bailey and “voted accordingly”

    The rest… well, the rest is pent up anger


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    -if you ask Darren Bailey one thing, he’ll tell you he loves social media-

    And JB’s team loves that Darren Bailey loves social media.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:02 am:

    ===Love to see a young white dude===

    Is it a bother that he is white? That’s an odd beginning to this.

    ===working tirelessly===

    Here’s the thing, for me;

    Campaigns and government are trade jobs. You are learning and honing a trade to each, sometimes to both simultaneously.

    To wish someone “well” in the trade of campaigns or governing, that’s far different than either rooting against whom they work for, or what policies you may disagree with, even vehemently.

    I can wholly disagree with Bailey’s candidacy. I can be “bothered” or worse by the polices, platform, and even the words the campaign has.

    The trade itself needs good, smart/intelligent people around it.


  14. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:04 am:

    You often find some very good, individually admirable people working on races expected to lose, or at least that was my experience volunteering for the Poshard campaign. They’re not in it, anyways, because they’re expecting to easily cruise by and then cash in.


  15. - Who else - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:05 am:

    “What strategies helped you in the primary?”

    An honest assessment would be something more like, “Well I’d heard about these things called racism, dog whistles and sedition and I thought they seemed like something that could really get some support on social media, especially on Facebook. Turns out I was right, and that talking directly to camera about these issues really grows your fan base when it comes to GOP primary voters.”

    I don’t disagree with Rich that this guy is going places, and it’s also true that Democrats, in what I believe to be a dangerous way, will have helped him get there. But this place we’re headed is not a healthy one. I’ll keep my eye on him for sure.


  16. - CubsFan16 - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:05 am:

    King Louis - There are many young candidates who lose their first election at a young age - 18,19,21, etc. and then go on to win later. I don’t think his take is off at all - generally voters are skeptical of someone who is still a student running for office. Of course there are exceptions.


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:10 am:

    ===Glad he responds to your emails tho, Rich. ===

    lol

    Bite me.


  18. - DougChicago - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    He does seem like a very nice young man. There is, of course, no place for him to go in Illinois (at least not north of Interstate 64).

    I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. But wherever he goes in the rest of the nation I wish him well.


  19. - Lakefront - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    ==Ah, yes! Love to see a young white dude ==

    ==He’s a young white man who is choosing to actively support a guy ==

    Yeesh. A lot of uninformed opinions about this man’s racial/ethnic and family background.


  20. - Liability - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    I’m sorry, I must have missed the disdain for the DGA ads from the Bailey campaign during the actual campaign. Oh no wait, Bailey actually said they were great. And that’s the prob with the GOP. I mean, one of the problems…


  21. - Geezus - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:42 am:

    == If Bailey loses, he can look his supporters in the eye and feel proud because he is true to them and their values. ==

    And his supporters will then complain about the Republican establishment that Bailey only got 42 percent in a GOP wave year, after Pritzker spends $250 million showing Bailey and his flamethrower to suburban women for the next five months.

    Rinse, repeat. Certainly why the GOP is supremely irrelevant in Illinois. And there is little hope that it will be any better by 2028.


  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    ===Yeesh. A lot of uninformed opinions about this man’s racial/ethnic and family background. ===

    Yep. Jose is Hispanic.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    ===is Hispanic===

    It was odd that whatever angst one had, the one thing necessary, it seemed, was to say he’s white, seemingly not understanding who he actually is.

    Campaign work can help shape who people are or become, as he grows, and learns and we watch that too, who knows what other campaigns he might align with in the years ahead.


  24. - sad - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    The comments really go show the problem in this country. Maybe get off twitter and into the real world and you will see just because someone is a R doesn’t make them beneath you or even (gasp) a horrible person. Same goes for hyper partisan R thoughts on Ds.


  25. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    Hardly an outsider when he appears to be a wealthy farmer ( aka recipient of farmer welfare) with a charter school scam goin’

    Jose reminded us of Joe Novick who steered Poshad thru the primary, but was unable (like many, many others) to get any moderation and lost to Ryan.


  26. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    Well, this young man is still pushing the lie that “JB shut down the state”, so perhaps he’s not that honest of a guy??


  27. - King Louis XVI - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:25 am:

    –King Louis - There are many young candidates who lose their first election at a young age - 18,19,21, etc. and then go on to win later. I don’t think his take is off at all…”

    Age is his only “take.” The exceptions, like Schock, persuade voters with a image - in words and in image in presence - that is compelling. And they knock on every door. Twice.

    His capacity for self-reflection - at 27 - seems limited if he can only point to age as the cause of two earlier electoral defeats.


  28. - JoanP - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    = Yep. Jose is Hispanic. =

    Which, of course, doesn’t mean that he’s not white.


  29. - Politix - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:39 am:

    ==I didn’t like the meddling==

    They meddled so much your guy won. Is the argument that he is not far right? Worships Trump, celebrates guns at lunatic levels, tells people to enjoy themselves in the aftermath of the July 4th massacre. You can’t get more far right. Own that. That’s who Darren is.


  30. - Shibboleth - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    =The comments really go show the problem in this country. Maybe get off twitter and into the real world and you will see just because someone is a R=

    While I think the rhetoric from both groups in the comments is inflated, I feel this misses the mark. It isn’t that he is an R that is at issue, it is that he chooses to work for someone like Bailey.

    Whether it’s just a job or not, he is providing his assistance to someone who would harm many if elected, and who’s rhetoric likely got people killed during COVID. Choosing to assist someone like Bailey IS a moral judgement, and it will reflect in my opinion of Jose.

    That said, he does understand the importance of social media and I do agree he is likely to be successful within his party, though that may be to my ire. I just hope he picks his future candidates more wisely.


  31. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    “…Darren will always fight for all Illinois voters, not just Pritzker’s elites.”

    No, Darren will only fight for Illinois voters who agree with him. Every candidate is entitled to his stand, but just as Pritzker is not fighting for voters who disagree with him, neither will Bailey.


  32. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    Annonin’
    Joe N. Is quite a blast from the past.
    These new folks spend more in a week or so than Joe had to spend in an entire statewide or congressional campaign.
    Times sure have changed.


  33. - Roadrager - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    So glad to see the political press provide a soft-focus profile of someone working their hardest to elevate a fascist into power. Don’t see much of that nowadays.

    After all, it’s not about the ideas and hateful rhetoric he’s working to codify into law, it’s that he does so politely, with a smile on his face and a real “can-do” attitude. Oh, we have fun here with our little games and horse races, don’t we, politics friends?


  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===So glad to see the political press provide a soft-focus profile of someone working their hardest to elevate a fascist===

    And yet you clearly supported the governor and the DGA spending tens of millions to help nominate said fascist https://capitolfax.com/2022/07/14/question-of-the-day-3461/#comment-13546835


  35. - Jim Runyon - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:15 pm:

    Congratulations.


  36. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    =he’ll tell you he loves social media.”=

    He sure does right now, especially facebook
    where Ayatollah Bailey can generally speak with impunity and block comments he doesn’t like. That would change if he becomes governor.

    =I’m so tired of the complaint that Pritzker and the DGA “meddled” in the Republican primary.=

    Same here. The young man doesn’t have much political history knowledge. Nixon’s campaign was the best at meddling and did so with frequency.

    I don’t fault the guy for repeating the campaign talking points, that is his job. But telling fibs regardless of whether you are being paid to do it or not is still lying.


  37. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    Had to delete some comments because they were apparently astro-turfed. Sock puppetry is forbidden here. Don’t post comments using different screen names on the same post to make it look like there’s more of you.


  38. - Primate - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    Z who? Good on Jose for destroying this fictional Z superhero.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===for destroying this fictional===

    LOL

    “Sure, Jan”

    Outside of DGA/Pritzker/Proft doing the actual lift of ads to the base…

    (Sigh)


  40. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    Meh, the kid may be easy to get along with and organized, but Bailey won because he genuinely speaks the language of the GOP base and between the DGA and Uihlein there was enough money to get the message out there. So far the campaign for the general has been rather unimpressive.


  41. - RJRICH17 - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 1:51 pm:

    I struggle with my feelings on this, because while Mr. Durbin seems quite impressive, he is actively helping a candidate that seeks Donald Trump’s support (and received it!). I have a difficult time taking anyone seriously who works for a candidate that believes in principles that are actively undermining our democracy.


  42. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    “Say what you will about Bailey, but this young man is going places.”

    Hopefully somewhere that scolds him for trying to enable an incompetent fool to governor.

    Spare me the “meddling” by DGA; they don’t want Bailey to win.


  43. - Lurker - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    This was such a bad burn that my face tanned while reading it …..

    “And yet you clearly supported the governor and the DGA spending tens of millions to help nominate said fascist”

    😂


  44. - Nazgul - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 3:20 pm:

    Jose works hard and hustles at every level of the political campaign. Respect…..


  45. - Primate - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 4:36 pm:

    OW… it is good we can both LOL. The difference is that I don’t have to sigh all the time. Campaign managers win or lose elections (By choice, Z usually doesn’t have a title but was by all metrics the campaign manager of the Irvin/Rauner campaign). Of course, the DGA, Proft, etc… influence had a big role. Mr. Obvious comes to mind after reading your comment. Jose played the cards dealt and won. The Zancy Team lost. Can’t spell it out any clearer. Feel free to cash these comments wherever Z cashes in his checks. Yes, we understand how to cash checks.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    === Of course, the DGA, Proft, etc… influence had a big role.===

    Do a deep dive…

    How much money was spent by Proft/PAC, Pritzker, and the DGA…

    How much of a role does the Bailey campaign have in that spending.

    ===Jose played the cards===

    More let the computer play Solitaire and watched it win?

    ===Feel free to cash these comments wherever Z cashes in his checks. Yes, we understand how to cash checks.===

    The bitterness is unbecoming.

    Z will work again… and again, and again.

    Dan Proft’s career tells me so.


  47. - Primate - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 5:05 pm:

    Ok. Mr. Obvious. Have good evening.


  48. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 5:18 pm:

    ===How much of a role does the Bailey campaign have in that spending===

    Half the Richard U money went to Bailey.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 5:32 pm:

    ===Half the Richard U money went to Bailey===

    Yep, and this is where Jose Durbin deserves real kudos, maximizing his advantages that Proft’s spending and both Pritzker and the DGA gave in air cover.

    The re-writing of where or how Z failed or not failed, or even followed orders with a candidate that seemed to be vetted by only *one* bad Google search…

    Jose Durbin did the job needed, deserves kudos for that, these ideas that Z is “ruined” by Bailey’s campaign manager and his genius is a bit wishful.

    ===Good on Jose for destroying this fictional Z superhero.===

    So, a discussion to that should NOT diminish Jose Durbin’s work.

    It’s not like Z is my friend, or even knows about me or cares, and here *I* am… lol

    As an aside, have a great time watching baseball. What great weather. So jealous.


  50. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 14, 22 @ 6:26 pm:

    === What’s the biggest challenge going forward? “Pritzker’s money.” ===

    No way, Jose.

    Your biggest challenge is Darren Bailey. The last time a pro-gun, anti-choice, anti-union, anti-gay rights Republican won statewide in Illinois was 1998, and he was from the suburbs.

    I am not sure I can remember the last time an NRA, Right to Life, Right to Work Homophobe Republican from Downstate won.

    Maybe Everett Dirksen?


  51. - WestBurbs - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 9:43 am:

    Sorry I missed this yesterday. I’ve worked a number of campaigns since the mid-70s and managed a couple, and have always respected the craft and my opposing managers - meaning that I can separate the workers from the candidate’s views. Whether its me or the world, I’m having more trouble today doing so. Joe Proenza may be a great guy and excellent pro - but when you’re Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign manager I can’t respect you.


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