Republican Darren Bailey wins House seat with more than 75 percent of the vote
Darren Bailey hopes his rise to state representative in the 109th District will bridge the gap between the two states he believes Illinois has become.
“I saw that up close and personal during my campaign,” Bailey told SE Illinois News. “There are definitely different values down here in Southern Illinois and in the northern part of the state, which make for starkly different agendas. I plan to work on that to no end.”
After garnering roughly 76 percent of the vote Tuesday night in his matchup against Democrat Cynthia Given, Bailey’s work can begin in earnest.
“Among my first priorities is making time to educate voters about what could be coming from a J.B. Pritzker term as governor and what they may be able to do to fight back,” he said.
Bailey spent much of his campaign pushing for greater fiscal responsibility and no more new taxes, an agenda he sees as at odds with that of the new governor.
“He’s been vocal about what he wants to do and I fear more taxes will simply break Illinois,” he said. “Republicans like myself that are concerned about government learning to live within its means have to be ready to hit the ground running.”
Bailey stressed that he’s going to Springfield with an open mind.
“I’m willing to talk to and work with anyone that’s committed to getting Illinois back on track and helping people,” he said. “I’ll work with anyone while fighting for Southern Illinois values.”
Bailey said Pritzker’s arrival and the ouster of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner makes him fear for the future of the state.
“We could be headed for bankruptcy based on all the reckless spending we might see,” he said.
Bailey said Rauner's defeat shows the need for a complete party overhaul.
“We need to re-establish our values,” he said. “We’ve lost our identity. How else do you explain Gov. Rauner voting in favor of HB 40 and several Republicans voting in favor of the tax increase?”
The 109th House District includes Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.