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Downstate representative collapses during House proceedings

Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, appeared to collapse and could be seen lying on the floor of the Bank of Springfield Center Sunday afternoon. His condition was not immediately known, but Bailey appeared to get on a gurney himself and gave a thumbs up while being wheeled out.

Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, is wheeled out of the Bank of Springfield Center Sunday afternoon after experiencing a medical emergency.
Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, is wheeled out of the Bank of Springfield Center Sunday afternoon after experiencing a medical emergency. | BlueRoom Stream

A downstate House Republican had to be wheeled out of that chamber’s proceedings Sunday after experiencing a medical emergency.

Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, appeared to collapse and could be seen lying on the floor of the Bank of Springfield Center Sunday afternoon.

His condition was not immediately known, but Bailey appeared to get on a gurney himself and gave a thumbs up while being wheeled out.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said Bailey has been experiencing some “gastrointestinal issues” and hadn’t eaten Sunday,“ which led to him passing out on the floor” and hitting his head.

Despite their disagreements on issues, Durkin wished him well and urged other legislators to do the same.

“We have our disagreements on many issues, but at the end of the day we are a family, and let’s remember that,” Durkin said. “We wish well to everyone. This is a time in which we have to consider and we have to put the priority of one’s health above anything as we do for our constituents.”

Bailey, 54, was the first to sue Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker over his stay-at-home order.

The southern Illinois legislator won a seat in the state Senate in November, beating Democrat Cynthia Ann Given, nearly 77% to 23%.

Bailey was booted from a House session in May — with the help of some of his fellow Republicans — after refusing to wear a face covering during the first House sessions held early in the pandemic.

Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton both tweeted shortly after Bailey collapsed, wishing him a speedy recovery.