On Sunday, he strolled along the streets of Marengo at the city's annual Settler's Day parade. Keyes grinned at cheering spectators. Afterward, he joined a couple hundred supporters to grill bratwursts, munch chips and talk politics.
"We're trying to reach every part of the state," Keyes said. "Especially places like Marengo, where there is common sense and a sense of decency and moral values."
Clarence Dillance, a shop owner who came to meet Keyes, said the event cemented his vote. "I'm proud to be a Republican, and I want to vote for Mr. Keyes," Dillance said. "I really believe in what he says."
But Keyes has not been well-received by African Americans, said Robert Starks, director of the Harold Washington Institute at the Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.