FILE - In this April 25, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speak in Cramerton, N.C. Gingrich is thanking his supporters a day before he officially suspends his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Gingrich released a video message on his website Tuesday saying he would bring the campaign to a close on Wednesday. The former House speaker said he would continue working to defeat President Barack Obama, whose re-election Gingrich said would be a �genuine disaster� for the country. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
First-time political candidate Doug Truax has grabbed the biggest name so far in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois: Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich is the first national figure to weigh in on the GOP primary for Senate as Truax battles State Senator Jim Oberweis for the right to take on longtime incumbent Dick Durbin.
Gingrich, a former U.S. Representative from Georgia, presented one of the most serious challenges to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican campaign for president. He has long straddled a number of ideologies and factions within the national Republican party, sometimes appearing more of a Tea Party-like firebrand and sometimes calling for more traditional, mainstream Republican ideas.
So far, Truax has struggled to match the bigger name recognition and fundraising prowess of Oberweis, necessitating a campaign that has leaned heavily on endorsements for momentum.
Clearly, Truax welcomed Gingrich’s support, saying in a press release Gingrich is “strongly endorsing” his run:
“I’m humbled and thrilled to accept Newt’s generous endorsement,” said Truax, a West Point and Army Ranger school grad, Army veteran and successful businessman. “Newt Gingrich is a visionary conservative who sees bright days ahead for America if we follow the right path. I agree with his optimism and his deep commitment to bringing forward new approaches to solving our problems.”
In a video that accompanies the endorsement, Gingrich made it clear that he thinks Truax is the right person to take on the Democratic incumbent:
The particular reason I’m excited about Doug’s candidacy is I believe he is the perfect person to debate Dick Durbin this fall. Durbin’s record of higher taxes, more bureaucracy, fewer jobs, a weak economy, a huge deficit, that’s in great contrast with Doug Truax’s approach.