Bailey votes early in Clay County, addresses political rhetoric following death threat
LOUISVILLE (WGEM) - Sen. Darren Bailey voted early Thursday, less than 24 hours after charges were filed against a 21-year-old man who left a death threat on Bailey’s official voicemail. The downstate farmer said he is glad Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted Wednesday that hate has no place in Illinois.
The senator voted at the Clay County Courthouse where he first gained popularity in 2020 after suing the Pritzker administration over COVID-19 executive power.
Darren and Cindy Bailey said they are seeing great enthusiasm across the state “with a light at the end of the tunnel.” The Louisville Republican stressed that Illinoisans are looking for hope and Bailey is honored that he was called upon to serve and lead others.
Bailey said he has always wanted to work while enjoying life and freedom. He said supporters are glad that he stepped up for everyone dissatisfied by COVID-19 lockdowns and the Pritzker administration.
“We woke up one day and realized our freedoms are being slowly taken away from us,” Bailey said outside the courthouse. “And then we obviously realized the obvious, that a government of the people and by the people can only exist when the people participate.”
The Capitol Bureau asked the senator and his wife how they were feeling just days after receiving the life-threatening voicemail. Sen. Bailey said leaders need to unify the state instead of dividing people with political rhetoric. He feels that Pritzker was too extreme when the governor called him a “threat to Democracy.”
Both Baileys noted that there has been a significant rise in attacks against politicians and their families over the past year. Scott Lennox confessed to leaving a voicemail on Bailey’s Senate office phone threatening to skin him alive and feed his family to him before killing him. The phone call allegedly happened minutes after Lennox watched a political ad about Bailey while he was in a bar.
Cindy Bailey said the entire situation made her righteously angry.
“When it impacts Darren and I because we’re the ones in this role right now, we realize that we could come under attacked,” she said. “When they come after our children and our grandchildren, and the entities that we’ve invested in all our lives, our farm, and the other things that we’re involved in, that’s a problem.”
However, Cindy said she is grateful for the men and women from local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police who helped ensure everyone in the family was safe. The Baileys hope justice is served soon.
Cindy also stressed that this type of attack shouldn’t happen to anyone, regardless of political beliefs.
Meanwhile, Bailey feels Republicans up and down the ballot have a great chance to win next Tuesday. He said voters need to ask themselves if they are better off today than they were four years ago.
“Our streets are unsafe. Our taxes are too high,” Bailey said. “Our schools are failing. Our energy grid is a mess. I think anyone can look at that and understand that JB Pritzker has created this in the last four years.”
The senator said that he will accept the results of the General Election. Still, he is actively recruiting supporters to be poll watchers across the state on Tuesday. Bailey said he is encouraging people to participate in the process. The Bailey campaign “election integrity coordinator” is David Paul Blumenshine, a Central Illinois native with two unsuccessful campaigns against Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington). Blumenshine also led a bus of people to Washington DC for the Trump rally before the U.S. Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
“The last class is going to be held on Saturday to train poll watchers to get involved and restore confidence in our election system,” Bailey said. “Again, it’s all about the people.”
Pritzker and Bailey will be on the road for campaign events throughout the weekend.
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