Willowbrook doctor puts $1M into campaign

April 2, 2008 10:49:44 PM PDT
A suburban doctor is kicking off an uphill battle to unseat incumbent Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat. Republican Steve Sauerberg launched a statewide tour Wednesday called, "Stop the Sell Out".The Willowbrook doctor is putting $1 million of his own money behind the effort to boot Durbin from the seat he's held since 1996.

Considering the sorry state of an Illinois Republican Party-- which doesn't control anything in Springfield, lost former House Speaker Denny Hastert's supposedly safe Congressional seat to an unknown democrat, and can't find a candidate to run for Congress in the Joliet area- Sauerberg has to be considered the longest long shot in America. He is challenging one of the country's most prominent and powerful U.S. senators.

"I've got news for Dick Durbin. His days in Washington are numbered. He has sold out the people Illinois long enough," said Dr. Steven Sauerberg, (R) U.S. Senate Candidate

Sauerberg, a 53-year-old doctor who manages a group practice in La Grange, characterizes Durbin as having a propensity for wasteful spending and misplaced priorities.

"Dick Durbin's 37 years has been a disaster for Illinois," said Sauerberg.

"My opponent has put in $1 million. It's his legal right to do that. When I went to my wife and said I guess we'll have to put $1 million in she said I better go buy a lottery ticket," said Senator Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois

Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, has raised more than $7 million for a campaign that characterizes himself as a tireless fighter for the regular people of Illinois against rich and powerful special interests. For instance, on Wednesday, Durbin proposed a bill that would make health insurance more affordable to millions of employees of small business in Illinois.

"We send an awful lot of money to Washington, D.C. I've tried my best to make sure some of that comes back," said Durbin.

Sauerberg said his campaign carries a message of change, much like presidential candidate Barack Obama, one of Durbin's friends.

"I think Barack Obama would probably endorse them. Certainly we represent change, we represent some of the issues that Senator Obama likes," said Sauerberg.

Sauerberg's chances of winning Obama's endorsement are about the same as winning the starting quarterback job with the Chicago Bears. But he does have a dry sense of humor, which will probably come in handy in his first political campaign against a household name like Durbin.

Even though Sauerberg is comfortable enough to loan his campaign a million dollars, he said that if he kicked in much more his wife would file for divorce. Also, he doesn't plan to spend much of the first million until he sees if it's even possible to give Durbin a run for his money.


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