In a six-way race to take on Democratic administration JB Pritzker in November, Senator Darren Bailey will win the Republican nomination, NBC News Projects.
Bailey, who was elected to the state senate from Xenia, received significant support and coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump in the late stages of the primary cycle.
Bailey fended off a crowded field that included Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who was an early campaign favorite after using $50 million in donations from Illinois billionaire Ken Griffin to buy a slew of television ads.
Irvin also faced a scathing barrage of attack ads from Pritzker himself and the Democratic Governor’s Association in the late stages of the campaign.
Bailey also defeated businessman Jesse Sullivan, whose message from outsiders was seen as a key as he garnered support late in the election.
Businessman Gary Rabine, former Senator Paul Schimpf and attorney Max Solomon all finished far off pace in the race, according to forecasts.
Now Bailey and his running mate will face Pritzker and Julianna Stratton in the November election. Pritzker will seek a second term in office, while Bailey hopes to get rid of the man he was embroiled in court with during the COVID pandemic, by filing lawsuits over the governor’s health restrictions and policies.
Bailey has criticized the governor’s economic policies, pointing to the departure of several corporate headquarters in recent months as evidence that Pritzker has negatively impacted Illinois jobs.
The Democratic Governors’ Association has already run ads against Bailey, calling his policies “far right” and inconsistent with the views of voters in Illinois.