Trump and his supporters have blown up Illinois Republicans' $50 million midterm campaign: report
Donald Trump rally (Photo via AFP)

According to a report from the New York Times, the Illinois Republican Party's plan to put a candidate in place that they feel can beat Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in November is going down in flames due to Donald Trump and his supporters.

As the Times' Reid Epstein reports, more than $50 million dollars was involved to make Mayor Richard C. Irvin of Aurora the nominee and now it looks like -- due to the former president and his rabid followers, -- they will be saddled with previously little known state Sen. Darren Bailey (R) who once proposed kicking Chicago out of Illinois.

On Saturday Trump endorsed the man the Times described as "A 56-year-old farmer whose Southern Illinois home is closer to Nashville than to Chicago, he wears his hair in a crew cut, speaks with a thick drawl and does not sand down his conservative credentials, as so many past leading G.O.P. candidates have done to try to appeal to suburbanites in this overwhelmingly Democratic state."

That has boosted the chances of Bailey getting the GOP nomination -- where he is already leading in the polls -- and has derailed plans made by the GOP.

According to the report, "Mr. Bailey rose to prominence in Illinois politics by introducing legislation to kick Chicago out of the state. When the coronavirus pandemic began, he was removed from a state legislative session for refusing to wear a mask, and he sued Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, over statewide virus mitigation efforts. Painted on the door of his campaign bus is the Bible verse Ephesians 6:10-19, which calls for followers to wear God’s armor in a battle against 'evil rulers.'"

Adding to the Republican Party's problems is that Pritzker is boosting the campaign for Bailey which is also giving the GOP headaches.

According to the report, "Kenneth Griffin, the Chicago billionaire hedge fund founder who is the chief benefactor for Illinois Republicans, gave $50 million to Mr. Irvin for the primary alone and pledged to spend more for him in the general election. Mr. Griffin, the state’s richest man, will not support any other Republican in the race against Mr. Pritzker, according to his spokesman, Zia Ahmed. Mr. Griffin announced last week that his hedge fund and trading firm would relocate to Miami."

Pritzker, for his part, is enjoying the chaos, telling reporters, "It’s a mess over there. They’re all anti-choice. Literally, you can go down the list of things that I think really matter to people across the state. And, you know, they’re all terrible. So I’ll take any one of them and I’ll beat them."

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