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Illinois: Giannoulias Hits TV Airwaves to Talk Jobs

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) on Wednesday went up with his second campaign advertisement in a week. The Democratic Senate frontrunner’s new spot is very similar to his first ad but includes more information about Giannoulias’ jobs plan.

Both advertisements feature workers from a local company, suit maker Hartmarx. According to his campaign, Giannoulias threatened to pull the state’s investment portfolio from Hartmarx’s main creditor if the company shut down the local plants and eliminated 1,000 jobs as planned.

Giannoulias also officially landed the backing of two important labor unions this week, the AFL-CIO and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. He has now managed to collect the support of every major labor group in the state over the course of his campaign.

Giannoulias is one of several Democratic candidates running in the Feb. 2 primary. The winner is likely to face Rep. Mark Kirk (R). Attorney Jacob Meister (D) and former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman (D) each have already released at least one television ad, while former Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Robinson Jackson has yet to hit the airwaves.

Both of Giannoulias’ spots were produced by the Chicago-based national media firm Adelstein Liston.

GOP Field Thins in Race Against Foster

Two GOP candidates dropped out of the primary this week in the 14th district, clearing the field for the two favorite candidates of national Republicans: Attorney Ethan Hastert, the son of former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R), and state Sen. Randy Hultgren.

Former Defense Department employee Mark Vargas dropped out of the race Tuesday, and he endorsed Hastert in the process. Soon after that, property maintenance manager Jeff Danklefsen dropped out of the race and endorsed Hultgren.

Vargas and Danklefsen follow businessman Jim Purcell, who announced Dec. 3 that he was leaving the race because he said in a press release that he did not want to split the conservative vote. While Purcell did not officially endorse Hultgren, the short-time candidate directed media inquiries to Hultgren’s biggest backer, state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R), a known adversary of the Hastert family.

The winner of the Feb. 2 primary will face Rep. Bill Foster (D) next year in what is expected to be a nationally targeted contest.

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