Bailey, DeVore endorsed by Illinois Fraternal Order of Police
CHICAGO (WGEM) - The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police and Chicago FOP lodge officially endorsed Sen. Darren Bailey for governor Monday. Bailey said it was an honor to receive the endorsement with three months left before the General Election. Both organizations also announced their backing of Tom DeVore for Attorney General.
Bailey renewed his call to repeal the SAFE-T Act and said his administration would never treat police like enemies.
“If you think crime in Illinois is bad now, what in the world is it going to look like in 2023 when Pritzker’s no cash bail law opens up the prison doors and he throws away the keys?” Bailey asked.
Illinois FOP President Chris Southwood said Bailey supports law enforcement, safety and sanity. Southwood said those are three things that are not priorities for the Pritzker administration. He argues Illinois needs a governor who helps police do their jobs instead of punishing them. He also said Bailey will put the rights of citizens before criminals.
“We thought Richard Irvin had the best chance to beat Pritzker. Darren Bailey proved us all wrong,” admitted Chicago FOP President John Catanzara. “He got historic numbers north of I-80 that many of our own members didn’t think he could do.”
The Chicago Lodge endorsed Irvin during the Republican primary for governor while the statewide organization didn’t endorse a candidate in the race until Monday. Catanzara said officers respect people who “do the work” and travel the state to meet with them. Southwood and Catanzara claimed the Pritzker administration hasn’t supported the police. However, Illinois law enforcement has received significant investments in the past three budgets and individual “Back the Blue” laws under Pritzker’s leadership.
“It breaks my heart to see and watch what’s happening to our neighborhoods and our law enforcement members,” Bailey said. “JB Pritzker, Lori Lightfoot, and Kim Foxx - well, they’ve become the three musketeers of crime with chaos, tragedy, and crime in Chicago. As shootouts and mayhem terrorize the city, the trio have more than turned their backs on our police officers.”
Bailey claimed Pritzker, Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx have actively attacked, threatened and endangered the lives of police officers. The Pritzker campaign quickly said Bailey’s real record shows staggering inaction and contradiction. Campaign Press Secretary Eliza Glezer said Illinois deserves better.
“Given his dismal voting record and hypocritical stance on supporting Capitol police officers who fought on January 6, Darren Bailey has no right to claim he supports law enforcement,” Glezer stated.
Although, Pritzker had the opportunity to respond to Bailey’s criticism during an unrelated press conference Monday afternoon. The Democratic governor said Illinois voters have seen that Bailey is a hypocrite.
“When he says he is pro-public safety and then votes against expanding our crime labs, votes against adding police, votes against us being able to solve crimes quickly, he is not somebody that actually has public safety in mind,” Pritzker said. “He’s a hypocrite on so many things. He’s somebody that thinks that abortion is a greater tragedy than the Holocaust.”
Pritzker said Bailey doesn’t deserve to be thought of as a leader of the state. He also stressed that Bailey doesn’t understand what it takes to lead during difficult times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Pritzker recounted that Bailey told people to ignore COVID-19 mitigations and challenged his authority.
“As a result of that, thousands more people died than should have,” Pritzker added.
Meanwhile, both law enforcement groups endorsed DeVore for Attorney General. They said the Metro East Republican always fights against injustice as an independent attorney. Southwood said DeVore owes nothing to politicians who “attacked the police profession” while passing the SAFE-T Act.
“As a law enforcement mechanism, the Attorney General has an obligation to prosecute crime,” DeVore said. “Being a part of political conversations and policies that may go hand in hand with that certainly can be done, but first and foremost you have an obligation to protect the people.”
Attorney General Kwame Raoul said he is proud of his relationship with law enforcement and that DeVore has never prosecuted a criminal case in his career.
“As someone who started my career as a county prosecutor, I value the relationships I have developed working directly with police officers, prosecutors and other law enforcement partners across Illinois to protect our communities, and I plan to continue this work on a bipartisan basis,” Raoul said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done collaboratively to prosecute murder cases, cases against sexually violent people, internet crimes against children, retail theft crime, and illegal gun trafficking.”
Raoul also said DeVore has threatened to use the power of the Attorney General’s office to investigate “his Republican adversaries.” DeVore told reporters that people in Chicago have told him they don’t feel safe in the city anymore. He said Chicago is the heartbeat of Illinois and there’s a collateral effect from leaders not taking crime seriously there.
“Look at places like Champaign and Decatur,” DeVore said. “Those cities are starting to suffer from the same consequences. The collar counties as well. That’s all people talk about is this crime.”
Bailey and FOP leaders refused to take any questions from reporters at the press conference. Bailey spokesman Joe DeBose told reporters that the candidate will be available for questions during the Illinois State Fair. The fair’s Republican Day is Aug. 18.
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