St. Louis Public Radio News
1:00 pm
Tue January 21, 2003

Chicago Lawmaker to Run for U.S. Senate in '04

Chicago, IL – Illinois Senator Peter Fitzgerald will have at least one Democratic opponent later today.

Chicago State Sen. Barack Obama announced his plans this morning to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Fitzgerald.

Obama was born in Hawaii and is a Harvard Law School graduate.

He launched his candidacy with several party heavy hitters standing behind him, including Senate President Emil Jones and congressmen Jesse Jackson and Danny Davis.

Obama immediately went on the attack, denouncing incumbent
Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald for "betraying" Illinoisians through his votes for tax plans and federal budgets that he says jeopardizes Social Security and pension benefits, and gutting labor and environmental laws.

Obama is a lawyer who was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996. He was defeated in a 2000 run for U.S. Congress against 1st District Representative Bobby Rush.

His announcement comes less than a week after another Chicago Democrat, former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, said she would not try to win her old Senate seat back. Moseley-Braun is reportedly mulling a bid for the White House.