Low-profile primary will determine Durbin opponent in the fall

Updated 3/14/2020 8:34 PM

Five lesser-known candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in a feisty race that has been waged largely below traditional media radar.

The winner will try to unseat longtime Democratic incumbent Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield, who's risen to the second-highest position in his party's Senate leadership.


The GOP hopefuls are retired information technology professional Casey Chlebek of Glenview; former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran of Libertyville; former law enforcement officer and IRS employee Peggy Hubbard of Belleville; Dr. Robert Marshall, a physician from Burr Ridge; and Dr. Tom Tarter, a retired urological oncologist from Springfield.

Both Hubbard and Curran are former Democrats. Marshall has bounced between the two major parties in perennial bids for state and federal offices that date back four decades.

Chlebek, Tarter and Hubbard all are making their first runs at public office.

Curran has been criticized by some candidates for negative comments about President Donald Trump he made after the 2018 election, when he lost his sheriff's post.

Hubbard drew controversy for publicly claiming she took a gun and ammunition into a suburban school for a candidate forum. Hubbard later changed her story, telling the Daily Herald she "misspoke" and actually had left the gun locked in her car. She stood by her statement about bringing ammunition to the event.

Curran and Chlebek expressed fears about socialism in America. Hubbard regularly spoke about violent crime in Illinois' cities. Marshall said his priority is ending American involvement in foreign wars. Tarter said he's particularly alarmed by proposals for a national, government-run health care system.

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