Willie Wilson announces run for US Senate as independent in challenge to Dick Durbin

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago businessman Willie Wilson kicked off his campaign to run for US Senate Thursday against longtime incumbent Dick Durbin.

Wilson spoke at the New Covenant Baptist Church, where he made the official announcement.

"Dick Durbin has been in office too long. He's been there 37 years. It's time for him to go, he must go and he will go," Dr. Wilson said during his announcement.

Durbin was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1983. He was elected to the Senate in 1997.

Wilson will run as an Independent candidate on the November ballot where he will also face Republican candidate Mark Curran.

Wilson unsuccessfully ran for Chicago mayor in 2015 and again 2019. He also ran for president in 2016.

Senator Durbin's campaign manager, Greg Bales, said in a statement,"Dr. Wilson is not an independent-he's a Republican who publicly supported Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner, and contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates this election. On police reform, he opposes the Congressional Black Caucus and every major civil rights organization -- including the NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund -- and instead supports Trump's position. A vote for Wilson is a vote for Trump and a Mitch McConnell controlled U.S. Senate."

Back in May, Wilson was critical of Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot for keeping churches closed as part of stay-at-home orders.

Several churches in Chicago were fined for holding services, and Wilson said he would pay their fines.
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