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IL GOP Will Pick Ryan Replacement Today

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Democrat Barack Obama has been running a campaign for the past month without an opponent.

By AP/KWMU

Chicago, Ill. – It's not Election Day in Illinois, but the state's Republican Party will pick a nominee to run for U.S. Senate today (Tuesday).

Party members will interview possible replacements to Jack Ryan. He dropped out of the race more than a month ago after divorce records became public.

A Cook County Board member, a wealthy dairy owner, a Chicago attorney and a retired Air Force general are among those seeking to become the GOP nominee.

The panel that will pick the replacement for Ryan is the Illinois Republican State Central Committee; it includes a representative from each of Illinois' 19 Congressional districts.

Committee members will interview potential candidates and choose one to run for the spot that was officially vacated last week by Jack Ryan after embarrassing allegations about his sex life became public.

Committee members say consensus is not building around a particular potential candidate. MaryAlice Erickson, vice chairman of the committee, says members don't have enough information from potential candidates to make a decision yet. She says members need to hear from people who are interested first.

Obama made national headlines last week and earned praise from a number of party leaders for the keynote speech he delivered at the Democratic Convention in Boston.

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