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Former GOP Statewide Grassroots Candidates Weigh in on 2024 Presidential Primary, Including Bailey, DeVore



By Illinois Review

As former president Donald Trump expands his lead among Republican primary voters by over 40 points in virtually every national poll, former Illinois Republican statewide grassroots candidates Darren Bailey and Tom DeVore are weighing in.

A recent poll in Iowa, the site of the first Republican presidential caucus, has Trump leading second place DeSantis by 37 points.

In an exclusive with Illinois Review, Bailey, who is running for Congress in the 12th district and was the GOP nominee for governor last election cycle, was asked,

“Will you be publicly supporting anyone in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, and if so, why?”

In a written statement provided by Bailey’s campaign to this publication, the former GOP nominee for governor said,

“I wholeheartedly endorse and support President Trump again. We need a president who puts America first, will fight for American jobs, stand up for our freedoms and the right to life, demand energy independence, and won’t kowtow to the liberal, woke agenda. Joe Biden’s policies have been a disaster for our country, socially and economically, and that’s why I plan to vote for President Trump for a third time. We need to take on the insiders and career politicians to clean up Washington and put working families in Southern Illinois and across our state first.”

Bailey then concluded with, 

“It’s a shame how out of touch our so-called Republican leaders are with our base and reality. President Trump will win the primary and will win again next November.”

On June 25, 2022, President Trump endorsed Bailey’s campaign for governor just days before the primary election – giving Bailey a boost. And days later, Bailey would defeat his closest opponent by nearly 42 points.

Since the Spring, Bailey has made several trips to see the former president at his various rallies and residences in Palm Beach, Florida and Bedminster, New Jersey.

(Darren Bailey/Facebook)
(Darren Bailey/Facebook)

On October 27th, Bailey will host the former president’s eldest child, Donald Trump Jr. for a book signing party in Effingham.

Darren Bailey posing for a picture with former President Trump at his Bedminster golf club earlier this Summer. (Darren Bailey/Facebook).

Tom DeVore, the GOP nominee for attorney general was also asked the same question in an on-the-record email interview with this publication. The question again, was,

“Will you be publicly supporting anyone in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, and if so, why?”

In an emailed on-the-record response, DeVore offered up this reply,

“I don’t respond to one-sided questions.”

In recent months, DeVore, who has remained neutral during the presidential primary, has been posting photos on his social media accounts with Illinois Republican National Committeeman Richard Porter, a staunch supporter of DeSantis.

(Thomas DeVore/Facebook)
Richard Porter and Tom DeVore pose for a photo at the Republican Presidential Primary Debate in Milwaukee. (Thomas G. DeVore/Instagram)

And just a few weeks ago, DeVore attended the Republican Presidential Primary Debate in Milwaukee alongside Porter, where they posed for photos wearing cowboy hats. The fun picture even made it into IL GOP chairman Don Tracy’s weekly Chairman’s Memo.

Richard Porter and Tom DeVore post for a photo wearing cowboy hats at a recent RNC Meeting in Milwaukee. (Thomas DeVore/Facebook)

During a May 25th Facebook post, Porter wrote, “I am down in Miami helping DeSantis with his launch, and I am working the phones and emails to raise first day money for him — could you give today?”

During the 2022 primary, Porter was one of the architects of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign for governor – serving as “honorary” co-chairman of Irvin’s campaign, where he remained a close advisor and confidante to the Aurora mayor.

Billionaire Ken Griffin, who funded Irvin’s failed campaign – donated $50 million, but in the end, Irvin would lose the primary to the grassroots-backed candidate by a staggering 43 points.

Aurora Mayor and GOP candidate for governor Richard Irvin and Richard Porter enjoy a Cubs game during the gubernatorial primary in 2022. (Mark Weyermuller/Facebook)

In an interview at the Illinois GOP Day at the state fair in Springfield back in August, Porter spoke with the Chicago Tribune, where he sounded more like a Democrat than a Republican when discussing the candidacy of President Trump.

“I think the most ardent Trumpers recognize that they might love him in their heart, but they know in their head he is not going to win independents in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arizona and Nevada. And that’s what you need to do to become president. And if you don’t become president of the United States, Trump goes to jail.”

After this publication published a story highlighting his comments, Porter was in damage control – offering IR a long statement attempting to clarify his on-the-record comments from earlier in the day, which IR included in an update.

This past weekend, President Trump was in Iowa, where he visited a fraternity, flipped hamburgers, threw footballs and made an appearance at the Iowa State football game, where nearly 60,000 rose to their feet after realizing that the former president had just walked inside the stadium.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump attend the Iowa State football game this past Saturday, as both receive very different reactions from the crowd. Trump leads DeSantis in Iowa by 37 points. (Photo credit: Roger Stone/Twitter/X)

The Iowa Republican Presidential Primary Caucus will be held on January 15, 2024.


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