State Senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey has never minced words about Chicago, but on Tuesday he revealed that he has established a residence in the city.
Bailey, who has repeatedly referred to the city as a “hellhole” and did so again during a press availability Tuesday, told reporters during an event in the West Loop that he is now living in Chicago.
“I want to immerse myself in the culture,” he told reporters. “You can’t deny there’s problems here. And if we keep denying these problems, the problems are going to get worse.”
According to media reports, Bailey has established a residence at the John Hancock Center on the Magnificent Mile.
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Bailey’s criticism of Chicago has generally revolved around crime, with the Republican claiming that city residents are experiencing a surge in crime similar to the film “The Purge.”
“Chicago is living the purge, when criminals ravage at-will and cops stand down. JB Pritzker and his cohorts in mayhem are directing the film,” he said.
According to the latest crime statistics from Chicago police, 66 people were killed in Chicago last month, down from 80 the previous August. Overall, murders are down 16% in 2022, and the number of shootings has decreased by nearly 20%, according to the city.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, overall crime has increased in 2022 over last year.
Bailey’s views of Chicago have become a calling card during his legislative career. In 2019, he cosponsored a House resolution asking Congress to separate Chicago from the rest of Illinois, though he says he has reconsidered that stance in recent years.