Republican candidates for Senate make last minute speeches in Bloomington

By WEEK Producer

March 17, 2014 Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 2:19 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Tuesday's winner of the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate will have the challenge of unseating incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin.

Both Republican candidates are from the Chicago area. They are investment manager turned state senator Jim Oberweis and tea party loyalist Doug Truax, an insurance executive.

Both men were in Bloomington on Monday, speaking to the McLean County Republicans at the Double Tree.

The latest Chicago Tribune poll shows Oberweis with a big lead but Truax remains optimistic.

"We've been on the radio, got endorsed by the Tribune, Newt Gingrich, then we had this thing last week with my opponent taking off to Florida for a week and it's all been bubbling up. It's really turning a corner," Truax said.

"This is not gonna be an easy race, but this is a winnable race," said Oberweis. "This is the first time we've had a real serious opportunity to do so. Mr. Durbin has had a couple of fairly easy elections in the past. I'm gonna make sure he doesn't this time."

Oberweis is making his third bid for the U.S. Senate. Truax is seeking public office for the first time.

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