Former President Donald Trump gives his endorsement in 12th Congressional District race

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Former President Donald Trump has given his much-anticipated endorsement in the Republican primary race for the 12th Congressional District.

Trump said in a statement Tuesday that incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, should continue to represent southern Illinois in Congress. Bost’s campaign shared the statement in an announcement to members of the media. It comes four weeks before the March 19 primary election.

Former state senator Darren Bailey is challenging Bost.

Trump had previously endorsed both candidates in their races during the 2022 general election: Bost for re-election to the 12th District and Bailey for governor of Illinois.

Bailey made his support for Trump a key component of his campaign for the 12th District; his political signs read “Fights like Trump.”

“While I like and respect Darren Bailey, and was proud to campaign for him in 2022, Mike Bost was one of the first House Committee Chairmen to endorse my Campaign, and Mike was a stalwart supporter of our America First agenda during my record-setting Administration,” Trump said in the statement.

“As Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Mike is doing an incredible job providing our Brave and Patriotic Veterans with the care they deserve,” Trump added. “He is working hard to Secure the Border, Champion American Agriculture, Strengthen the Military, Grow the Economy, and Protect and Defend our under siege Second Amendment. Mike Bost has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Bailey’s campaign said in a statement to the BND that he “proudly stands with President Trump despite disagreeing with him on this endorsement.”

“We look forward to working with President Trump to champion working families, secure our borders, defend our freedoms, and put America First—no compromises, no apologies,” the Bailey campaign stated.

Trump has endorsed mostly incumbents in the U.S. House.

Bost called Trump’s endorsement a tremendous honor. In a statement, the five-term congressman promised to help put Trump in the White House. Trump is the likely GOP nominee for president in the 2024 general election.

Bost said he and Trump are fighting for the same things, including border security and the legal right to possess weapons.

“I look forward to standing side-by-side with him in the fight to Make America Great Again once we’re both re-elected this November,” Bost stated.