Bailey, R-Xenia, said in a news release Monday he is a southern Illinois farmer who plans "to reform a state that has been broken and abandoned by career politicians who have lost touch with the needs of hardworking Illinoisans."
"Illinois is in trouble. We have a massive deficit, some of the highest tax burdens in the entire nation, and skyrocketing unemployment," he said. "Add to that career politicians who have used a pandemic to destroy our local economy."
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He was elected to the state legislature in 2018.
In May of 2020, Bailey was escorted from the House floor for not wearing a mask, which was mandatory under House and Senate rules established because of the pandemic.
Bailey also sued Pritzker last year, claiming his emergency powers with regard to COVID-19 had only limited power and violated his civil rights.
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At the time, Pritzker's office called the suit a "political sideshow."
Republican Paul Schimpf also announced his candidacy for governor Feb. 15.
The Republican primary election for Illinois governor will be held on March 15, 2022.