U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who's seeking to hold onto his Illinois post amid competition from Jim Oberweis, has released his first political ad this election cycle.
Not once dropping Oberweis' name, the second-ranking Senate Democrat goes for the heartstrings in the clip, which uses the story of Joliet resident Andrea Simone to highlight Durbin's commitment to veteran issues.
Simone's husband, Tony, survived an attack by the Taliban on a U.S. military helicopter while he was serving in Afghanistan. He received a severe brain injury in the incident. With the help of the Durbin-sponsored Veterans Affairs' Family Caregiver Program, which was instated in 2009 and offers financial and educational support for caregivers, Andrea was able to manage Tony's care on her own.
"Senator Durbin passed a law that provided me with the resources and the training so that I am able to take care of Tony at home," she says. "I believe for Dick Durbin it's not about politics. He cares for veterans and their families."
The downstate-born incumbent leads Oberweis in polling and by most predictions is expected to score at the ballot box Nov. 4. However, his Republican challenger—a dairy magnate from Chicago's western 'burbs—has recently gained momentum amid an increasingly negative anti-Durbin media campaign.
Durbin's ad is airing in the markets of Springfield and Chicago, home to his most loyal voting base.