Illinois Sen. Darren Bailey, who made nationwide headlines by challenging Pritzker's stay-at-home order last year, revealed Monday he'll seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2022.
Bailey, a farmer and business owner from the southern Illinois town of Xenia, made the announcement Monday alongside family and friends at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham.
"Governor Pritzker and Illinois democrats, they failed us, and it's time to stop it," he told what appeared to be a mostly maskless crowd. "We've tried the country club approach, we've tried the Chicago Loop approach, and I don't think that's worked for anyone in this room."
Bailey was sworn in as state senator in January, but previously served as a state representative from 2019 to early 2021.
In May, he filed a lawsuit against Pritzker, claiming the governor exceeded his authority and violated the civil rights of the state’s residents in issuing a stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A judge ruled Pritzker’s orders were legal.
Speaking to supporters Monday, Bailey said Illinois has unlimited potential, but the state needs a governor who's willing to listen and lead.
"I tried to do that as a father," he said. "I did that as a community leader. I did that as a state legislator, and I will do that as your next governor."