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Alan Keyes Formally Enters Ill. U.S. Senate Race

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By AP/KWMU

Arlington Heights, Ill. – Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes formally announced his run as the Republican candidate in Illinois' U.S. Senate race Sunday.

He'll replace former Republican nominee Jack Ryan who stepped down in late June amid embarrassing sex club allegations in his divorce records.

Keyes will face Democratic rising star Barack Obama, and his entry sets up the first U.S. Senate election with two black candidates representing the major parties.

It also seems to assure that Illinois will produce only the fifth black senator in history.

State Republican leaders asked Keyes, a political commentator who has never lived in Illinois, to be the party's nominee last week after nearly six weeks of searching for a candidate.

Keyes told a crowd of supporters Sunday that he can't a promise victory in November but he can promise a fight for the Senate seat.

CONSERVATIVE VIEWS

Keyes says his conservative views on issues like abortion and gay rights are in line with Illinois voters. He says he had to think long and hard about running from out-of-state. But he says he was compelled to run because most Illinois voters don't agree with Democrats' liberal views.

Keyes also says he's not a free trader and that recent trade policies have hurt blue-collar workers.

CAMPAIGN PROFIT?

Elsewhere, it appears people are apparently already trying to make money off of the Keyes campaign.

A napkin billed as the napkin Keyes used to wipe his brow during the announcement is currently selling for more than $24 on Ebay, the online auction site.

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