Republican Jim Oberweis continues to try to peel away the support of traditional Cook County Democrats in his quest to unseat Sen. Dick Durbin in November.
Tuesday, Oberweis announced the opening of a new campaign office in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
"We are we are going to fight for every vote in every corner of this state, and we're going to have competition," Oberweis said.
The Republican is counting on help from leaders in the black community such as Pastor Corey Brooks.
"We can influence a lot of people, and it's not just about us saying who we're voting for, but it's about who we believe in," Brooks said.
The incumbent says he isn't impressed by Oberweis' Woodlawn presence.
"You don't win over and show support for constituencies by a one-month storefront lease in a neighborhood," Durbin said.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is also seeking traditionally Democratic voters by courting some of the same black leaders as Oberweis, but those supporters deny they're receiving any financial support.
"That is really insulting in 2014 that an African-American community leader can't have an independent thought," the Rev. Ira Acree said.
Oberweis said he would consider spending a night in Englewood or Woodlawn in order to focus on the issues in those communities.
A new Rasmussen poll shows Durbin with a comfortable 51-37 lead in the race.