A former Chicago-area sheriff emerged from a crowded Republican field Tuesday in the Illinois primary, advancing to mount a longshot challenge against Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.
Mark Curran, who had perhaps the most name recognition of all the candidates, said he ran because he believes the political climate has changed and Durbin is vulnerable.
“He has neglected Illinois and nobody has been able to land a punch,” Curran told The Associated Press. “But having been a career prosecutor and the longest-serving sheriff in Lake County, I know how to throw a punch. I’m credible.”
Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, was first elected in 1996 and has handily won each election since then. He also has $4.5 million cash on hand. All the other Republican candidates combined made up only a fraction of that.
Curran, who led in endorsements, was previously a Democrat but switched parties in 2008.