Meet the candidates for State Senate

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Two candidates are looking to gain control of the seat that is being left without an incumbent after State Senator for the 55th district Dale Righter (R) announced his plan to retire.

The two candidates, Cynthia Given and Darren Bailey, are looking to represent all or parts of population living in Clay, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.

All but two counties are considered to be at active or imminent outbreak in regards to the COVID-10 pandemic according to county data. The other two are at risk of outbreak.



Bailey is a famer owner from Xenia.

According to his website his family’s priority’s are faith, family and farming.

He is currently the state representative for the 109th district.

Bailey sued Governor JB Pritzker last spring for the statewide shutdown that occurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic saying that it overstepped the governor’s authority.

The case has gone between courts and is active.

Bailey and his campaign did not respond to multiple attempts for an interview with The Daily Eastern News.



Given is a small business owner in Olney.

She has owned her Main Street business for 13 years and takes pride in using no start-up, capital or loans to start her business. Given said she used skill learned in previous occupations to help her business.

Given said her main priority if elected would be to bring “actual representation” to the district.

One way she said she already ensures she will represent those in her district is by not taking money from outside the district.

“I feel like with me you get someone who’s actually in the district. I have kept corporate political committee money out, I don’t accept that,” Given said. “My campaign is funded by the people in this district because I am campaigning in this district.”

Another way she plans to accomplish her goal is to focus on bipartisan legislation.

“My legislation will be people-focused. That means that because I don’t take money from lobbyists or corporate donors, I will be focused on the people along the lines of roads and hospitals, things that everyone uses,” Given said. “There aren’t any Democrat highways or Republican hospitals. They’re things that everyone uses.”

She said she will be a bipartisan legislator and find common ground with opponents.

In regards to the pandemic she said the goal should be to protect each other.

“We have to take care of each other. We can have all the rules or no rules but the bottom line is this is killing our friends and neighbors. This is a bigger issue than one person filing one lawsuit in one county. This is impacting our communities. I know my own small business has been affected since March and was mandated to be shut down by the governor. I don’t think that this is a political issue, this is an issue of public health. We have to protect the people in our own neighborhoods, we have to protect the people in our schools, our clinics, the people who own our grocery stores, the people who own businesses on Main Street, our farms, everyone,” Given said. “When we lose sight of why we’re trying to protect each other that’s where we find divisive people.”


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]