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IL Candidates for U.S. Senate Making Final Pitch

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State Sen. Barack Obama campaigned in East St. Louis Sunday. (photo by David Katz, Obama campaign)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

East St. Louis, Ill. – The 15 candidates running for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat are campaigning for as many votes before Tuesday's primary election.

Democrat Barack Obama spoke Sunday at Mt. Zion Church in East St. Louis.

The Chicago State Senator has been leading the seven Democrats in recent polls, but many people remain undecided.

He says jobs are an important issue for all Illinoisans, but Scott Air Force Base is especially important to the Metro-East's future.

"You make sure that your attention is focused on it in negotiations around appropriations issues and around issues dealing with the military budget," Obama said Sunday.

"And if I'm representing the state of Illinois, and there's going to be military spending to be made or an air force base to be open, I want to make sure it's right here in Illinois."

The Post-Dispatch and both major newspapers in Chicago (the Tribune and Sun-Times) have all endorsed Obama. While many Illinoisans still haven't made up their mind, Obama only started running TV ads in the St. Louis market last week. "Although I've personally spent as much time as any candidate here, I also know that until you are on television for a decent chunk of time, people have difficulty connecting your face to a name to a message." Democrat Dan Hynes and Republican Steve Rauschenberger both have campaign stops planned in the Metro-East this afternoon (Monday).

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