Irvin campaign responds to absence at Washington forum

State senator and GOP candidate for governor Darren Bailey points out Irvin's absence during...
State senator and GOP candidate for governor Darren Bailey points out Irvin's absence during the Gubernatorial Forum Monday night in Washington.(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:25 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (25 News) - The press team for GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin has responded to our requests for comment as to why he wasn’t present during the forum Monday night in Washington.

The Central Illinois 2022 Republicans Gubernatorial Candidate Forum distributed six invitations to remaining candidates, including Senator Darren Bailey, businessman Gary Rabine, state Senator Paul Schimpf, attorney Max Solomon, and businessman Jesse Sullivan. All were in attendance at the event except for Irvin.

In an email, Irvin campaign member Eleni Demertzis says the candidate had a “prior commitment” that evening, adding in a statement:

“As a former prosecutor who put violent criminals behind bars, a mayor who cut spending to lower taxes and the only Republican candidate for governor to take on Mike Madigan and win, Mayor Irvin looks forward to sharing the stage with his opponents which will prove he is the best candidate to roll back the crime, corruption and high taxes we’ve seen under J.B. Pritzker.”

Irvin’s absence was a topic of address for several candidates during the forum. That was especially true of Darren Bailey, who used the empty seat as a talking point.

“You know why this gentleman over here that’s not here has spent 80% of his $12.5 million attacking just me?” asked Bailey while pointing to the unoccupied stool. “Because I’m winning, and he knows it.”

The primary election will be held June 28, and the general election will be held November 8.

You can watch the full event on our Facebook page here.

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