Curran easily outdistances 5-person field to win GOP race to challenge Durbin

 
 
Updated 3/18/2020 1:10 AM

Former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran claimed the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate late Tuesday, setting up showdown with longtime Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin in November.

In the five-person GOP contest, Curran of Libertyville was in front from the minute results started posting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Curran sounded relaxed and upbeat as he watched his tally increase.

"The numbers are big," he said. "I'm looking forward to November's election. People are going to have a clear choice."

With ballots in about 98% of precincts counted, Curran was on top with 198,705 votes, or about 43% of the total, unofficial results indicated.

As for the other candidates, unofficial results showed: Peggy Hubbard of Belleville was in second place with 108,911 votes, or nearly 23%; Dr. Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge was in third place with 72,965 votes, or more than 15%; Dr. Tom Tarter of Springfield was in fourth place with 70,616 votes, or nearly 15%; and Casey Chlebek of Glenview was running last with 26,420 votes, or less than 6%.

Votes cast early or by mail hadn't yet been counted.

Curran led in nearly every county, but he especially dominated in Lake and the other collar counties.

Curran initially was elected sheriff in 2006 as a Democrat but switched to the GOP in 2008. He lost reelection in 2018, overcome by a blue wave that gave Democrats more political control in Lake County.

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For this campaign, Curran painted himself as a conservative by staunchly opposing abortion and arguing for gun ownership rights.

But Curran hasn't always toed the Republican Party line, like when he lobbied state lawmakers in 2012 to allow people living here illegally to get driver's licenses.

Expressing gratitude for his support, Curran said he believes voters are "looking for authenticity."

Durbin ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

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