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Barack Obama, Jack Ryan Roll to Easy Wins in IL Primary

Barack Obama (left) and Jack Ryan (right) (photos from each candidate's campaign)


Chicago, ILl. –

Republican Jack Ryan will face Democrat Barack Obama in this fall's race for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat.

Current Senator Peter Fitzgerald is stepping down.

Both men easily won their parties' nomination yesterday amidst a field of 15 total candidates.

Obama, in fact, had more votes than the six other Democrats in the race combined.

The Chicago State Senator told supporters last night his campaign didn't have enough money or organization.

Ryan is a millionaire investor-turned-school teacher who has never held elective office.

He beat his nearest of 8 opponents by more than 10% even though he's been dogged by questions about a divorce in recent weeks.

In his victory speech, Ryan thanked voters for placing their trust and confidence in him.

Obama is a state senator and former civil rights attorney who is aiming to become
only the third black U.S. senator since Reconstruction.

He says his victory shows that Democrats from across Illinois united behind his campaign.

Obama had massive support in Chicago, but second-runner Dan Hynes, the state Comptroller, dominated downstate. He outtallied Obama more than 2:1 in Madison and St. Clair Counties (18,760-8,812), but was unable to get the traditional Chicago machine to deliver votes in the city. Hynes' father Tom is a powerful Chicago politician.

To hear a report that aired on NPR's Morning Edition about the importance of the race to overall party control in the U.S. Senate, click here.

To hear a report from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford about the challenges facing the Republican nominee, Ryan, click on the 'listen' icon above.

(following results are estimates with 98% of precincts counted)

Illinois Primary - U.S. Senate - Democrat
Barack Obama642,30553%
Dan Hynes289,50524%
Blair Hull131,62311%
Maria Pappas73,6596%
Gery Chico52,1324%
Nancy Skinner15,7021%
Joyce Washington13,0511%

Illinois Primary - U.S. Senate - Republican
Jack Ryan228,57936%
Jim Oberweis149,80323%
Steve Rauschenberger125,06920%
Andy McKenna94,66915%
Jonathan Wright16,8923%
John Borling13,0222%
Norm Hill5,5271%
Chirinjeev Kathuria4,9411%


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