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updated: 7/1/2014 5:11 PM

Oberweis wants to square off with Durbin seven times

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  • Democrat Dick Durbin, left, and Republican Jim Oberweis, right, are candidates U.S. Senate in November.

    Democrat Dick Durbin, left, and Republican Jim Oberweis, right, are candidates U.S. Senate in November.


Political Editor

Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis wants Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to agree to seven debates in their race for U.S. Senate.

The Sugar Grove dairy magnate says he wants head-to-head debates all over the state, all hosted by media organizations and one each co-hosted by a liberal and conservative group.

Durbin is seeking re-election to a fourth term in the Senate and serves as the chamber's No. 2 Democrat.

Durbin spokesman Ron Holmes called Oberweis' request for debates a "position change" from the primary.

"Sen. Durbin has debated every challenger he's had and looks forward to working out the terms of this fall's joint appearance schedule," Holmes said in a statement.

Oberweis argues Durbin should answer more questions in public. The Republican candidate recently called for a special prosecutor to investigate the ongoing IRS scandal and wants Durbin to do the same. The agency has been under fire for a year after having targeted conservative organizations' tax-exemption applications for more scrutiny.

The debate over debates is common in campaigns. Oberweis' opponent in the March Republican primary, Doug Truax of Downers Grove, had called on Oberweis to face him for more debates. Truax once said in a statement that Durbin would "make mincemeat" out of Oberweis in a debate.

The two Republicans ended up debating in Huntley before the primary election.

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