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IL Republicans Don't Fret 'Outsider' Senate Candidate

Alan Keyes
Alan Keyes

By Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill – Some Republicans in Illinois say they're not worried that their next candidate for U.S. Senate has never lived in the state.

The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times reported Friday that Alan Keyes will on Sunday announce that he's running.

The top Republican in the Illinois Senate, Frank Watson of Greenville, says Keyes will be ready to go in a short period of time.

"He won't need to be taught the issues," Watson said. "He knows the issues. He's dealt with them for years, and working in the administration and running for office himself in other states. He brings that wealth of information to us as a candidate. I think it's good."

But Mike Lawrence, who used to be an aide to Governor Jim Edgar and now teaches at Southern Illinois University, says an outsider could turn off voters.

Keyes has twice run for President and twice for U.S. Senate from Maryland.

The state party has been scrambling for weeks to find someone to face Democrat Barack Obama, ever since Jack Ryan left the race.