CHICAGO (CBS) — Republicans in Chicago say, this time, they are running serious and determined candidates for the Illinois legislature, and they plan well-funded campaigns to unseat incumbent Democrats.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Chicago Republican Party chairman Adam Robinson said they’re fielding vetted candidates in 15 House districts, and one Senate district – including multiple candidates in a couple districts.

“These individuals behind me stepped up. They are putting their time, their money, and their name on the line; and as you all know, this is not easy,” he said.

For example, small business owner Mark Calonder has filed to run in the 10th District, where Rep. Derrick Smith was re-elected in 2012, despite having been arrested for taking a $7,000 cash bribe.

“I’ve heard people through every neighborhood say they’re worried about their financial future. That’s why I’m running,” he said.

Fatimah Macklin is running in the 34th District, hoping to face off against Democratic incumbent Elgie Sims.

“I’m running because my neighborhood needs a decrease in crime, and an increase in jobs,” she said.

Another GOP candidate, Mark Ekhoff has filed to run in that district, though he faces a challenge to his nominating petitions.

In all, 18 Republican candidates have filed nominating petitions to run in Chicago.

The Chicago Republican Party said it hopes to raise $250,000 to help fund the various legislative campaigns.

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