(CBS) – The primary election is just four days away, and one candidate has been busy traveling out of state instead of campaigning.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has been on the hunt for an elusive candidate for U.S. Senate.
Jim Oberweis was back Friday, doing exactly what he should be doing: campaigning. He returned from the Florida vacation his opponent has been using to attack him.
“I think it reflects a level of arrogance that we see coming out of him and his campaign,” Oberweis opponent Doug Truax, a businessman, says.
Where was Oberweis? He said in a radio interview he was back in the Chicago area. His campaign declined to say where he would be, but other sources pointed Levine to a union banquet hall in North Aurora, where he attended a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon.
During a break in the program, Oberweis was asked why he was in Florida this week, rather than campaigning in Illinois.
His surprising response: It was all about the breakup of his first marriage.
“It was absolutely the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life,” Oberweis said. “I’ve been married now for almost seven years to Julie, and birthdays are important to her, and I’m trying not to make the same mistake a second time.”
“I didn’t think that spending a few days with my wife for her birthday would be a problem,” the candidate added.
Asked if that might appear arrogant -– as if he thinks he has the nomination in the bag — Oberweis replied: “Absolutely not.”
Truax doesn’t see it that way.
“I understand he’s got whatever problem he may have, but that is not fair to the people of Illinois, who want reform,” he says. “And as long as he’s running off to Florida they’re not going to get it.”
Says Oberweis: “If it didn’t look right, I apologize, that certainly was not my intention. My intention was do the right thing for my wife.”
He said perhaps he could have found another way to celebrate his wife’s birthday.