Endorsement: Dick Durbin for U.S. senate
In the race for the U.S. Senate, the case for incumbent Dick Durbin is hard to dispute.
In the veteran Durbin, Illinois has one of the most powerful figures in Washington, D.C.
As Senate Democratic Whip, he is second in rank on his side of the aisle to New York's Chuck Schumer, who stands to become Senate president if Democrats take control in this election, as some suspect they might.
Durbin's position provides him with enormous influence in shaping Democratic goals now and that would grow even stronger if his party ends up in power. He would have a key role in setting the national agenda and in moving legislation, a benefit both for his priorities and for Illinois.
We have not always agreed with Durbin, but we've long been impressed by his good sense, his ability to communicate, his work ethic and his collaborative nature. We remember the productive relationship he and Republican Mark Kirk shared when Kirk was Illinois' junior senator.
Clearly a liberal, Durbin is not an off-the-rails leftist. He practices pragmatic politics with a commitment to organized labor, affordable health care, immigration reform, sound environmental policy and social justice.
He is for the most part a voice of reason in today's irrationally vitriolic political environment.
And he stands head and shoulders above his competition on the ballot.
Through the years, we've generally liked the Republican in this race, former Lake County sheriff Mark Curran Jr. of Libertyville.
He speaks his mind. He's open to new ideas. He can be amazingly innovative. And he often will veer from the party line.
But Durbin's grasp and perspective on the issues facing the country are far superior, as you might expect given his advantage in experience.
We prefer Durbin's temperament too -- particularly given the angry divisions that undermine the country today.
We must say, Curran lost us when he suggested to our Editorial Board that Antifa rather than climate change may be responsible for some of the horrific wildfires that broke out in the West this summer. Please. It is time for our political discourse to stop entertaining any more wild conspiracy theories.
Three third-party candidates also share the ballot with Durbin and Curran: philanthropist and businessman Willie Wilson of Chicago, Libertarian Danny Malouf of Crystal Lake and Green Party candidate David Black of Rockford. Their campaigns don't provide us pause in our recommendation.
We endorse Dick Durbin.