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GOP gov candidate Bailey names former talk radio host as running mate

State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, picked Stephanie Trussell, a “hardworking conservative” and former WLS-AM 890 talk show host, to join the 2022 ticket.

Stephanie Trussell, center, joins state Sen. Darren Bailey’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.
Stephanie Trussell, center, joins state Sen. Darren Bailey’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign on Monday.
BlueRoomStream

Republican gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Darren Bailey announced his running mate on Monday, picking a conservative talk radio host for the lieutenant governor spot.

Bailey tapped Stephanie Trussell, a “hardworking conservative” and former WLS-AM 890 talk show host, to join the 2022 ticket. The announcement was made Monday at Lisle’s Caffe di Moda.

Trussell said she’s excited to join Bailey’s camp to “restore Illinois” and save it from political leaders who have “failed us.”

“Friends, better days are ahead for Illinois, but only if you make real conservative changes,” Trussell said. “Pritzker is a failure — we can’t afford four more years of failure. It will kill this great state. Let’s put the days of slick politicians and rich elites who don’t understand our problems behind us.”

In her speech, Trussell underscored the same points Bailey has stumped on during his months on the campaign trail.

She said the ticket would focus on taxes, removing what she called the “woke left political agenda” from the state’s classrooms, installing ”leadership who will fight to defend our police — not defund them” and make sure residents feel safe.

Bailey’s lieutenant gov pick said, if elected, the team will demand a zero-based budget that freezes spending with no tax increases on Illinois residents. Trussell said the duo also plans to deliver a tax cut to Illinoisans by their second year in office.

Trussell didn’t provide more details on how the ticket would bring that plan to fruition.

The former talk radio host had a weekly show on WLS 890-AM from 2012 until its 2019 cancellation. She won that role in the station’s 2012 contest for its next talk star.

Trussell will likely face questions about tweets she wrote in 2016 criticizing then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and using the hashtag #NeverTrump.

In one tweet she wrote “my skin crawls when pundits call #Trump the leader of the #GOP. He doesn’t represent my values.” She also used the hashtags #NeverTrump, #NeverHillary and #NoWayCrazyBernie.

Her Twitter account, which was public before the announcement, is now protected. That move hides her tweets from those who don’t follow her account.

In a statement, Trussell said a lot of people had early concerns about the former president, and, like others, she later came to support his campaign and presidency “100%.”

“I love this country, and I continue to support the America First agenda that fights for working people, and I voted for President Trump in 2016 and campaigned and voted for him in 2020,” Trussell wrote. “I am a fighter and not someone who always toes the party line, but I support President Trump, and I will not apologize to the internet trolls or the left-wing media for who I am. As a mother of 5 kids and grandmother of 2, the future of Illinois is important to me, and I’m ready to focus on the real issues and fight with Darren Bailey to bring commonsense, conservative solutions to Springfield.”