Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Oberweis Mounting Run for U.S. Senate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    State senator Jim Oberweis---who has run twice for U.S. Senate and once for governor---is going to make a run again for the Senate seat now held by Dick Durbin.

    Obeweis said this morning, "Though a number of groups had encouraged me to run for the U.S. Senate against Dick Durbin, I had pretty much decided not to, believing it to be almost impossible to win. Then Ron Gidwitz contracted a poll. ... The results stunned me. I expected to trail Durbin about 60 percent to 30 percent. Instead it was 49 percent to 38 percent with me leading among younger voters and independents. After carefully considering that and not wanting to give Mr. Durbin another easy pass, I am strongly leaning towards running against him."

    Oberweis, Republican and conservative, differs with Durbin on both social and fiscal issues. Durbin spoke in favor of same sex marriage at a rally in Springfield Tuesday. Today Oberweis, wearing a button saying "Marriage--One Mom, One Dad", will appear at a rally in the rotunda of the capitol against legalizing gay marriage.

    A wealthy businessman for decades, Oberweis acknowledges that a race against the incumbent U.S. senator will not be easy:

    "This is a huge and expensive undertaking," the state senator from Sugar Grove acknowledged. "It is still a long shot but Mr. Durbin has been in Washington for 31 years and has lost his Illinois roots."