Senate Candidate Calls al-Qaeda “Ragtag Band of Pirates”

Robert Marshall running on anti-war platform

Robert Marshall's name doesn't make the short list of democratic primary contenders.

The 66-year-old radiologist is running against more recognized names like Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, former Chicago IG David Hoffman and Urban League CEO Cheryle Jackson. Jacob Meister rounds out the five-way race.

But the Burr Ridge Republican-turned-Democratic hopeful got the attention of the Daily Herald editorial board Friday when he described al-Qaeda as a "ragtag band of pirates" with "grossly exaggerated" influence.

Marshall has taken an anti-war stance on Iraq and Afghanistan despite voting for former President George Bush in 2004. He plans to start airing TV ads highlighting his position next week.

"I just slowly became more anti-war over the last few years," Marshall told the paper's editorial board, acknowledging he did not oppose the war after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "It was a spectacular stunt, but maybe next time we will be more prepared. This woke us up. We were sleeping."

Marshall has run as a Republican four times, including campaigns for Governor, the U.S. Senate and House and the state Senate. He told the Daily Herald considers himself a "libertarian" and supports abortion rights, health care reforms and tax cuts.

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