Pritzker campaign wants Bailey to publicly accept election results

Darren Bailey speaks to supporters during a rally outside the Illinois Capitol on May 16, 2020.
Darren Bailey speaks to supporters during a rally outside the Illinois Capitol on May 16, 2020.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 1:50 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - Illinois voters and political candidates are counting down the days until the general election is over. Campaigns will celebrate with unofficial election results hours after the polls close next Tuesday. However, the Pritzker campaign wants to know if Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) will publicly accept the results from the gubernatorial race.

Pritzker campaign manager Mike Ollen sent a letter to the Bailey campaign Monday night stating the governor and staff members will commit to accepting the results, win or lose. Ollen said the Pritzker campaign trusts and respects Illinois voters.

“We call upon your campaign and Senator Bailey himself to publicly commit to doing the same,” Ollen said.

Ollen’s letter to Bailey campaign manager Jose Durbin noted that “election denialism” threatens the foundation of democracy. He also said it is important that campaign leaders and candidates promise to respect the wishes of voters.

The Pritzker campaign referenced the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Ollen explained that people learned from Congressional hearings that the insurrection was sparked by former president Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the 2020 presidential election results. He wrote that trust in fairness and freedom of elections has plummeted.

“Senator Bailey has been largely quiet about his affiliation with Donald Trump since accepting the former president’s endorsement,” Ollen said. “He has not denounced Trump’s efforts to pre-emptively undermine the results of the 2022 midterms. In fact, he’s planted similar doubts here in Illinois.”

Bailey has consistently promoted the importance of poll watchers during Facebook Live streams with his supporters. Republican David Paul Blumenshine tried to recruit poll watchers for Bailey as people waited in line for lunch during Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair. Blumenshine led a bus of people to Washington DC for the Trump rally on January 6, 2021. He is also the “election integrity coordinator” for Bailey’s campaign.

The downstate senator recently walked Facebook supporters through a step-by-step process to sign up as poll watchers in Democratic districts.

“Go to and click on election integrity, and you can sign up and we’ll train you,” Bailey said. “We’ll train you how to do the job number one, and then we’ll train you number two on what to look out for and what to do if you suspect fraud.”

Ollen said it is imperative that neither campaign encourages poll watchers to intimidate voters and election workers or interfere with proceedings at local election officers. He wrote that Illinois must conduct a fair and free election.

“We have a responsibility to this state, and to people watching across the nation, to end our campaigns with honor and integrity, no matter the final tally,” Ollen said. “Illinoisans deserve to have faith in the most fundamental part of our nation’s democratic process. They deserve to know that their voice matters. They deserve to make the choice that best represents their values.”

The Bailey campaign frequently states that Pritzker attacks the senator because the governor doesn’t want to address his “failed record.” Bailey campaign spokesman Joe DeBose called the letter a sad and desperate attempt by Pritzker.

“Darren’s been clear he will accept the outcome of the election. JB hasn’t been clear about how he will fix the SAFE-T Act and has made life unaffordable for working families,” DeBose stated. “That’s why Darren Bailey will win. The real question is, will JB pledge not to remove the toilets from the Governor’s mansion once he loses?”

The General Election is on November 8.

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