U.S. Senate: Oberweis Cites Uphill Battle in Loss to Durbin

Jim Oberweis delivers his concession speech. (Photo/Kiersten Sinko)

Jim Oberweis delivers his concession speech. (Photo/Kiersten Sinko)

By Kiersten Sinko and Bree Stitt

Illinois State Senator Jim Oberweis, who lost to incumbent U.S Sen. Dick Durbin Tuesday night, walked to the podium with his head held high at the Oberweis Dairy.

Oberweis was considered a longshot in the race as Durbin built a huge fundraising and ad campaign in the closing weeks. He was trailing Durbin 51 percent to 45 percent with 30 percent of precincts reporting when he conceded.

“It’s very difficult to defeat an incumbent Senator,” said Oberweis after announcing his conceded defeat to Durbin. “It’s even more difficult to do it in a state that has the same predominant political philosophy as that incumbent, and especially where I was outspent four to one.”

After the polls closed and the numbers started to roll in, Durbin took about a 20 percent lead, proving that the amount of money in a campaign can make a significant difference in results. Durbin outspent Oberweis by raising over $9.88 million for his campaign, while Oberweis raised around $2.36 million.

“It’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult to overcome,” said Oberweis on being beat more than three-to-one in raising money for the campaign.

But Oberweis still had a positive attitude as he gave his speech. He said he still wants to bring more growth, change, and prosperity to the people of Illinois by continuing his work as Illinois State Senator.

“It’s the same fight,” said Oberweis. “To bring more growth and prosperity to the people of Illinois, and give all Illinoisans a voice, in a society where government is becoming a larger and larger role in our lives.”

Oberweis, an Illinois native, claims he has lived in the same home for 37 years, but questions have arisen over his wife living in Florida to avoid paying Illinois state taxes. The issue led to a terse exchange between he and Durbin during their third and final debate.

Over four decades he has helped create several jobs in Illinois, according to the campaign site. He is currently serving as the Secretary of the United Republican Fund.

Oberweis graduated from the University of Illinois to become a teacher and then decided to build a career in finances with Oberweis Asset Management. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. Over the course of his four-decade career in small businesses, he’s been able to help thousands of people get jobs in Illinois.

On the other hand, Oberweis does more than just politics and work in entrepreneurship. He is also known for his family business, as well as his philanthropic work. His grandfather founded Oberweis Dairy, where he serves as the chairman.

Under his leadership, the company has grown to about 1,200 employees, when it started as a small home delivery company. He also founded the Oberweis Foundation, which is a charitable trust created to help children and adults in difficult economic circumstances.

Along with his successes in small business entrepreneurship and philanthropic endeavors, Oberweis is also an active supporter of the Republican Party, along with many other conservative organizations.

Oberweis had many intentions if he won election. He is committed to bringing down taxes and creating more jobs. In the forum on Chicago Tonight, he said he wanted to get kids off the streets and bring down the violence. However, despite his efforts to create more jobs, he has many sharp disagreements with his Democratic opponent in the race, Dick Durbin. These issues include gun-control, same-sex marriage, and the abortion debate, which Oberweis has been recognized greatly by the “pro-life” community for his support.

On top of having sharp differences in these types of issues, Durbin and Oberweis also have significant in the money raised and spent for their campaigns; Durbin raised nearly triple the amount than Oberweis raised. Oberweis raised around $2.36 million, while Durbin raised around $9.88 million.

People enjoying Oberweis ice cream, while waiting on election polls.  (Photo/Bree Stitt)

People enjoying Oberweis ice cream, while waiting on the election polls.
(Photo/Bree Stitt)


Purdue shooter found dead in prison cell

In January 2014, Cody Cousins entered a Purdue University classroom and murdered fellow classmate, Andrew Boldt. The motive behind the act is still unkown. The prosecution stated Cousins may have envied Boldt, due to him being a top student in the engineering program.

Cousins was sentenced to 65 years in federal prison,but on Oct. 29, 2014, he ended his life in an Indiana State Prison. The prison said Cousins was found with self-inflicted lacerations to his neck and arms.

Chris Coffey talks converged storytelling

By Breanne Stitt

Chris Coffey, an investigative reporter for NBC 5 Chicago, stopped by to talk about the converged newsroom and his reporting experiences.

Coffey talked about his personal career and how after graduating college his goal was to be in front of the camera. He started out in Midland, Texas, which was the home for NBC’s television series Friday Night Lights.

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Gov. Quinn Talks MAP Grants at DePaul

Governor Pat Quinn

Gov. Quinn stressed the importance of MAP grants for Illinois students. (Photo/Josclynn Brandon)

By Josclynn Brandon 

Originally posted: December 2012.

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said.
“We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

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