Mark Curran Wins Republican Nomination for US Senate, Will Challenge Durbin in the Fall: AP

Mark Curran won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday, the Associated Press projects, defeating four other candidates to challenge incumbent Sen. Dick Durbin in November.

Curran had 42% of the vote with 60% of precincts reporting as of 9:30 p.m. CST, election results showed.

Curran is an attorney and the only candidate of the five Republicans seeking the nomination who had previous experience in elected office. He was the Lake County Sheriff from 2006 - when he was elected as a Democrat, before switching parties in 2008 - through 2018.

Durbin has been in office since 1997 and as the Democratic Whip, holds the second-highest position in party leadership in the Senate. Durbin’s long tenure, cash advantage and nearly 11-point general election victory in 2014 did not deter five candidates from throwing their hats in the ring - nor did the fact that Illinois has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.

The candidates included: Curran, Casey Chlebek, Peggy Hubbard, Robert Marshall and Tom Tarter.

Chlebek is a retired information technology worker who, as a Polish immigrant, boasts heavy involvement in Illinois’ Polish community.

Hubbard is a Navy veteran, former police officer and retired IRS analyst from southern Illinois who told the Chicago Sun-Times she was a Democrat until a police officer fatally shot unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

Illinois’ primary Election Day falls on March 17, when voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots in several races. Here are a few big contests to keep an eye on.

Marshall is a physician from suburban Burr Ridge and a perennial candidate who has unsuccessfully run for multiple offices since the 1980s as both a Republican and Democrat. He most recently ran for the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor in 2018 on a platform of wanting to, in part, split Illinois into three separate states.

Tarter is a retired urologist and surgeon from central Illinois who also taught at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and is running in part on his experience in the healthcare industry.

All five of the candidates expressed their support for President Donald Trump, likely in hopes that the man at the top of the ticket can give them a boost on Election Day.

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