January 8, 2007

IL-Sen: 8 Republicans Said 'No' to Challenging Durbin

I know, it's 22 months in till the general election and a lot can happen between now and election day. But, the deadline to qualify for the ballot is less than a year away in Illinois and top Republicans are already saying no to a run against Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin. The count is up to eight Illinois Republican passing on the Senate race. The Republicans are still holding out hope that Abraham Lincoln will not turn them down. In the case if he does says no, the Illinois Republican can always turn to the other 49 states to find a candidate.
No Republicans have stepped forward to say they will run against Durbin, and no one seems to be on the sidelines preparing to jump in.

"This is really becoming a problem for us," said Illinois Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville. [..]

Fitzgerald, who retired rather than run for a second term, is not optimistic about his party's chances against Durbin, with whom he worked and sometimes clashed at the Capitol for six years.

"I think it would take a riverboat gambler for a Republican to run," he said. "Senator Durbin is a liberal Democrat, but the state as whole is a liberal Democratic state, and Senator Durbin makes few mistakes. He'd be hard to beat."
In June 2005, the Conservative noise machine targeted Democratic Senator Durbin for this Senate floor speech about American treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in the hope of tearing down and discrediting the Senator. The Republicans planned that Dick Durbin's misstep would lead to a strong, well-funded challenger and a weakened Senator heading for re-election. Well, the opposite has happened. Democratic Senator Durbin is in a strong position heading for re-election and will mostly like face a under-funded candidate in 2008. Senate Republicans will be on the defense in the next election. They have a lot of seats to defend and might not make the same mistakes again they made in 2006 in pouring in millions of dollars in Democratic states to knock off Democratic Senators. All of their money will go in re-election Republican Senator rather than playing offense.

The eight Republican passing on the race are Jim Oberweis, State Sen. Bill Brady, State Rep. Jim Durkin, Rep. Mark Kirk, Rep. Ray LaHood, State GOP Chairman Andy McKenna, State Sen. Christine Radogno of Lemont and Rep. John Shimkus. House Republican leaders will not want any of there members to leave the House for a long shot Senate bid. If any of House members do jump in the race their house seats will turn to strong Democratic targets in 2008 and Republicans Rep. Kirk and Rep. Shimkus will face stiff challenges if they decided to run for re-election again. The rest of this unimpressive list are eyeing the Governor race in 2010 or in the case of Jim Oberweis eying an other failed Republican primary race this time for 14th Congressional seat of Dennis Hastert. If I'm lucky I will have the privilege voting against Jim Oberweis for Congress in 2008 and for a Democrat to represent me in the House.

I'm still hoping for an other Alan Keyes run.


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