By John Dodge

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has been elected to his fourth term, defeating GOP businessman Jim Oberweis.

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Based on exit polling results, CBS 2 projected Durbin as the winner shortly after the polls closed on Tuesday evening.


It was Oberweis’ fourth bid for statewide office in the last dozen years. His theme this time: “career politician” Durbin had been around far too long.

First a downstate congressman, then a U.S. senator since 1996, Durbin ran on a platform that experience means clout for Illinois, like transportation funding.

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“We’re receiving more federal dollars now than we have in the last 15 years,” Durbin said during the campaign.

That kind federal dough for transport infrastructure, Durbin says, helped lure a new Amazon fulfillment center that will produce 1,000 jobs.

This time, Oberweis, who made millions running the Oberweis ice cream business, softened his tone, seeking African-American votes on the South and West sides and steering clear of divisive social issues.

“I believe I’ve learned from some of the mistakes that I’ve made,” he said.

Durbin collected more than $9 million in campaign money; Oberweis, less than $1 million.

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The national GOP Senate fund didn’t come to his rescue.