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THE NATION

Illinois Republicans Ask Keyes to Challenge Obama in Senate Race

August 05, 2004|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Illinois Republican leaders asked two-time presidential hopeful Alan Keyes on Wednesday to be their Senate candidate.

Keyes, a Maryland resident, told a news conference that he would decide by Sunday whether he would run. "If I do step forward to pick up that challenge, I will be laying a lot on the line in terms of what I have tried to do in this country," he said.

It's been a laborious six-week search as Republicans have sought a candidate willing to take on Democratic rising star Barack Obama in the Senate race.

Republican primary winner Jack Ryan dropped his bid amid embarrassing sex club allegations that surfaced when records from his divorce were unsealed in June.

If Keyes or Obama were to replace Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, he would become the fifth black U.S. senator in history.

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