Seven candidates are seeking the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, with the winner facing incumbent Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Duckworth, 54, a wounded Iraq war veteran and popular politician, is unopposed in the primary. She will be the clear favorite as she seeks a second term in November in a place where Democrats control all state offices and voters have twice rejected President Donald Trump by double digits. Out of 34 Senate races nationwide, Cook’s political report puts his chances out of just 10, he ranks as “Solid D” for a likely Democratic victory.
While Illinois has elected GOP senators in the recent past, Duckworth beat the most recent Republican to hold a seat — moderate Sen. Mark Kirk — by more than 10 points in 2016.
Kathy Salvi, a former Lake County deputy public defender and unelected 2006 congressional candidate, led the Republican field in the primary campaign in terms of exposure and money raised. She campaigned on a promise to work to unify her party and maintains that Duckworth is beatable because the fall election will be a vote on the success or failure of the Biden administration. Salvi, 63, of Mundelein, works at a Chicago-area law firm alongside her husband, Al, a former state legislator.
Peggy Hubbard, 58, a political activist from southwestern Illinois who attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and promotes the false claim that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election, stands also present. The Belleville resident is a Navy veteran and former police officer. Her campaign materials call her “unbought and without a boss”.
Two other contending Republicans have been on the ballot in previous elections – Reverend Anthony Williams, 67, of Dolton, and Jimmy Lee Tillman II, a Trump supporter and the son of former Chicago alderman Dorothy Tillman .
Also in the running are Robert “Bobby” Piton of Geneva, managing partner of an investment services firm in Saint-Charles; Casey Chlebek, 73, Polish-born real estate business owner and former president of the Illinois branch of the Polish U.S. Congress; and Matthew Dubiel, 45, owner of radio station WCKG-AM in Elmhurst.
Trump has not endorsed anyone in the race.