MENDON, Ill. (WMBD) — Former President Donald Trump returned to the Land of Lincoln Saturday night and delivered two big endorsements ahead of Illinois’ Tuesday primaries.
The former president held a “Save America” Rally at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Mendon, IL, which is west of Quincy, IL.
Saturday, Trump endorsed Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) in her primary race for the congressional seat in Illinois’ newly drawn 15th House District. Miller is facing Rodney Davis, who is currently serving the 13th District in Congress.
“Mary is a warrior for our movement and our values,” Trump said.
After he endorsed Miller, Trump also gave his “full endorsement” to State Sen. and gubernatorial hopeful Darren Bailey.
“Darren is a fearless supporter of the 2nd Amendment and a tireless champion of religious liberty,” Trump said.
Trump, Bailey, and Miller were greeted by a roaring crowd of Illinois supporters that traveled all across the state to see the 45th president. Sue Fiene and a friend drove from Bloomington, stayed the night in Rushville, and arrived at the fairground at 10 a.m.
“This might be my only chance to see him this close, so come hell or high water, I was going to be here no matter what,” Fiene said.
Trump’s visit comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday. The landmark case guaranteed women a constitutional right to an abortion. With the overturn, that power returns to the states.
Miller applauded Trump for his nominations that made the overturn possible.
“Our victories for life and 2nd Amendment would not be possible if the never-Trump RINOS had gotten their way,” Miller said.
During her portion of the speech, Miller also took shots at Davis and at multiple times called him a “RINO,” the abbreviation for a “Republican In Name Only.”
“Rodney Davis betrayed us by supporting Red Flag laws and voting for the disgraceful Jan. 6 witch hunt commission,” Miller said.
In the hour-long speech, Trump stuck to similar talking points since losing the 2020 election. Those points included claims that the election was stolen and slamming the January 6 committee that is in the process of investigating the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.
“The unselect committee are pushing a fake and fabricated narrative based on doctored video lies and testimony,” Trump said.
Althea Shonn made the trip from Bloomington with Fiene, and she said despite the controversy surrounding January 6, her views on Trump remain unchanged.
“The best thing that happened about January 6 was I paid $26 for a full tank of gas,” Shonn said.
Fiene said she hoped to hear Trump announce he is running for reelection in 2024. She said she would vote for Trump 10 times over if she could.
“I’m on a fixed income, and I am just having a hard time with all these price increases,” Fiene said.
Trump did not specifically say if he would run again in 2024.
Following the rally, Rep. Davis released the following statement:
“I’ve always said I’m proud of my conservative record of working with Trump when he was in office. Together we protected the unborn, defended the Second Amendment, cut taxes, secured our border, supported our police and farmers, and so much more. I’m confident we will win on Tuesday thanks to my conservative record and also thanks to the countless local endorsements we’ve received, including Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR, the Illinois FOP and other law enforcement organizations, 19 sheriffs, dozens of local Republican leaders like my good friend Congressman Darin LaHood, blue-collar workers, small business leaders, and many others.”Rodney Davis, U.S. Representative
Trump also took shots at Gov. J.B. Pritzker and prior to the rally, the Pritzker campaign released a video condemning the former president’s visit.
“When I ran for office in 2018, I said everything we care about is under siege by a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic president. And this weekend, Donald Trump is coming back to Illinois. Whether motivated by ego or downright malice, Donald Trump continues to lie with impunity about the results of the 2020 election. We know that the twice-impeached, disgraced former president is a narcissist who values power over principle and seeks out darkness over light. But here in the Land of Lincoln, we support those who are preserving the union, not destroying it. We stand with the people who barred the doors of the Capitol on January 6th – not the ones who were trying to knock them down. And any candidate who refuses to speak out against Trump’s Big Lie has no business running for office. Not in Illinois. In 2020, Illinois voters rejected Donald Trump by a resounding 17 points, and we won’t hesitate to do it again. Hate has no home here, and it never will.”J.B. Pritzker, Illinois Governor
Pritzker’s full video response can be viewed below.