Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Senate Race Heats Up Illinois Primary Three Parties Vie for Seat of Paul Simon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Senate Race Heats Up Illinois Primary Three Parties Vie for Seat of Paul Simon

Article excerpt

Even if you forget the traveling presidential nominating circus that is bearing down on the Illinois primary election March 19, there is plenty of action to keep most voters busy in the polling stations.

U.S. Sen. Paul Simon caused much of it with last year's announced retirement that set off a frenzy of interest in three political parties.

On the Democratic side, Simon's Senate vacuum set up a fight between his protege, U.S. Rep. Richard J. Durbin, D-Springfield, and Pat Quinn, of Chicago, a former state treasurer and activist. Also aboard are Ronald F. Gibbs, a public relations executive and former mayoral aide from Chicago, and two businessmen from Glendale: J. Ahmad and Paul Park.

Among Republicans, the "name" Senate contenders are Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra, of Park Ridge, a former state legislator, and state Rep. Al Salvi, of Wauconda, a lawyer. They are joined by Dr. Robert Marshall, a radiologist from Burr Ridge, Wayne S. Kurzeja, a lawyer and county board member from Barrington Hills, and Martin Paul Gallagher, a health consultant from Danville.

The Senate race also features an Illinois rarity -- a third-party primary. The Libertarians must choose between Robin J. Miller, a computer store owner from East Peoria, and David F. Hoscheidt, a lawyer from Bloomington.

Durbin's quest for the Senate opened up his congressional seat in a district that stretches from Collinsville to Springfield.

Two Democrats, state Rep. Jay C. Hoffman, of Collinsville, and lawyer Sam Cahnman, of Springfield, are seeking the nomination.

A larger field formed among Republicans, including two who held the GOP nomination in previous years but lost to Durbin. They are Madison County Treasurer John Shimkus of Collinsville (1992) and construction worker Bill Owens of Springfield (1994). The others for 1996 are Rick Angel, a security consultant from Litchfield, and four residents of Springfield: Carl Oblinger, the circuit clerk of Sangamon County; Patrick Baikauskas, a lawyer for the state; Dave Green, a recent college graduate in communications; and James K. …

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