Sunday, June 26, 2022

Extremely Bad GOP Candidates, Illinois Version

Republicans want to take over big Blue states like Illinois, California, NY and Massachusetts, and they've won governor's mansions in all four states in the last few decades with candidates like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mitt Romney, George Pataki and recently, Charlie Baker, along with Larry Hogan in Maryland, and Phil Scott in Vermont. Republicans have been able to run on "keeping the Democrat legislatures in line" and win in the past.
This being 2022 though, the candidates Republican voters are sending to the general in these states are Big Lie racist assholes, and Democrats are loving every minute of it.

Darren Bailey, the front-runner in the Republican primary for governor of Illinois, was finishing his stump speech last week at a senior center in this Central Illinois town when a voice called out: “Can we pray for you?”

Mr. Bailey readily agreed. The speaker, a youth mentor from Lincoln named Kathy Schmidt, placed her right hand on his left shoulder while he closed his eyes and held out his hands, palms open.

“More than anything,” she prayed, “I ask for that, in this election, you raise up the righteous and strike down the wicked.”

The wicked, in this case, are the Chicago-based moderates aiming to maintain control over the Illinois Republican Party. And the righteous is Mr. Bailey, a far-right state senator who is unlike any nominee the party has put forward for governor in living memory.

A 56-year-old farmer whose Southern Illinois home is closer to Nashville than to Chicago, he wears his hair in a crew cut, speaks with a thick drawl and does not sand down his conservative credentials, as so many past leading G.O.P. candidates have done to try to appeal to suburbanites in this overwhelmingly Democratic state. On Saturday, former President Donald J. Trump endorsed Mr. Bailey at a rally near Quincy, Ill.

Mr. Bailey rose to prominence in Illinois politics by introducing legislation to kick Chicago out of the state. When the coronavirus pandemic began, he was removed from a state legislative session for refusing to wear a mask, and he sued Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, over statewide virus mitigation efforts. Painted on the door of his campaign bus is the Bible verse Ephesians 6:10-19, which calls for followers to wear God’s armor in a battle against “evil rulers.”

He is the favored candidate of the state’s anti-abortion groups, and on Friday he celebrated the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade as a “historic and welcomed moment.” He has said he opposes the practice, including in cases of rape and incest.

Mr. Bailey has upended carefully laid $50 million plans by Illinois Republican leaders to nominate Mayor Richard C. Irvin of Aurora, a moderate suburbanite with an inspiring personal story who they believed could win back the governor’s mansion in Springfield in what is widely forecast to be a winning year for Republicans.

Mr. Bailey has been aided by an unprecedented intervention from Mr. Pritzker and the Pritzker-funded Democratic Governors Association, which have spent nearly $35 million combined attacking Mr. Irvin while trying to lift Mr. Bailey. No candidate for any office is believed to have ever spent more to meddle in another party’s primary.

The Illinois governor’s race is now on track to become the most expensive campaign for a nonpresidential office in American history.

Public and private polling ahead of Tuesday’s primary shows Mr. Bailey with a lead of 15 percentage points over Mr. Irvin and four other candidates. His strength signals the broader shift in Republican politics across the country, away from urban power brokers and toward a rural base that demands fealty to a far-right agenda aligned with Mr. Trump.

For Mr. Bailey, the proposal to excise Chicago, which he called “a hellhole” during a televised debate last month, encapsulates the grievances long felt across rural Central and Southern Illinois — places culturally far afield and long resentful of the politically dominant big city.

“The rest of the 90 percent of the land mass is not real happy about how 10 percent of the land mass is directing things,” Mr. Bailey said in an interview aboard his campaign bus outside a bar in Green Valley, a village of 700 people south of Peoria. “A large amount of people outside of that 10 percent don’t have a voice, and that’s a problem.”

That pitch has resonated with the conservative voters flocking to Mr. Bailey, who seemed to compare Mr. Irvin to Satan during a Facebook Live monologue in February.

“Everything that we pay and do supports Chicago,” said Pam Page, a security analyst at State Farm Insurance from McLean, Ill., who came to see Mr. Bailey in Lincoln. “Downstate just never seems to get any of the perks or any of the kickbacks.
 It's an ugly reminder that about three-quarters of Illinois lives in Chicagoland, and the other three mil and change live in the state of West Indiana, and a hell of a lot of West Indianans want Chicagoland to go screw themselves and be their own thing.

Of course, coming from these assholes, "Chicago" means "Black People" and they absolutely want them out of the state, if not out of the country.

So yes, nominating the extremely racist Republican in the state with only 60% white voters seems like a bad idea for the GOP.

As long as the racist doesn't actually, you know, win.

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