Bailey brings gubernatorial bus tour to downtown Oswego, Utica

Election 2024
Candidate for Illinois governor Darren Bailey was all smiles during his campaign stop at The Dairy Barn in Oswego on June 16, 2022. (Mark Foster -- mfoster@shawmedia.com)

OSWEGO -- Candidate for Illinois governor Darren Bailey is riding high in the polls, but told his supporters during a campaign stop in downtown Oswego not to take anything for granted.

The Republican state senator from far downstate Louisville brought his bus tour to Utica, Morris, Oswego and Beecher on June 16, with less than two weeks until the primary election.

“This is how we take our state back. This is how we take our country back,” Bailey told the cheering crowd of about 100 people.

“We have things to stand up and fight for,” Bailey said. “People are hungry for change.”

Recent polls were showing Bailey up 15% over his closest rival for the GOP nomination, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, but former Trump campaign advisor Steve Cortes pointed to a newly released poll from the Trafalgar Group public opinion pollsters now showing Bailey up 17 points.

The poll shows Bailey with slightly more than 35% to Irvin’s 20%.

Bailey’s Oswego stop at The Dairy Barn on Main Street was brief, concentrating on a get-out-the-vote message.

“With the filthy games of Illinois politics we can’t take anything for granted,” Bailey said.

He also reminded voters about the prices they are paying at the grocery store and the gasoline pump and blamed Gov. JB Pritzker for making gas prices worse.

Taking a quick question from a reporter, Bailey said the 2019 state gas tax hike, which increased the rate from 19-cents to 38-cents a gallon, should be eliminated.

Although this July’s scheduled state gas tax increase has been delayed six months, the legislation includes an automatic annual increase which has already brought the tax to 39.2 cents per gallon.

“And that’s got to stop,” Bailey said as he walked away to climb aboard his tour bus for the final stop in Beecher.

The event was organized by Plano Township Trustee Becky Nelson, who serves as Bailey’s Kendall County coordinator.

“This is a grass roots movement,” Nelson told the crowd, as they awaited the arrival of Bailey’s bus entourage. “It’s yours to win. It’s yours to lose,” Nelson said.