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CHICAGO — With 10 days go to until the election, Illinois candidates picked up the pace on the campaign trail Saturday, trying to round up support from college football games to “get out the vote” rallies.
For Democrats, it was the latter, with Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias headlining gatherings where they urged supporters to encourage their friends, relatives and neighbors to hit the polls and retain Democratic leadership in President Barack Obama’s home state.
“Let’s get fired up, let’s get energized, let’s get enthused,” Giannoulias told a group of Latino supporters who chanted their support in Spanish. “Let’s go kick some butt on Nov. 2.”
Giannoulias, who’s running for Obama’s old Senate seat, promised that as the son of two Greek immigrants, he would be “a champion (and) a leader” on issues of immigration reform.
His opponent, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, kept a lower media profile, meeting voters at the Northwestern-Michigan State and Northern Illinois-Central Michigan football games instead of attending campaign events.
Kirk spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said he was able to reach a lot of voters at the games. She said he plans to spend the rest of the campaign highlighting the differences between the candidates and reaching “as many voters as possible, whether they are Independents, Democrats or Republicans at football games or early vote rallies.”
She said Kirk is also “troubled” that the final federal report on the failed bank of Giannoulias’ family won’t be released until after the election, saying voters deserve answers sooner rather than later.
Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady had three events scheduled north of Chicago on Saturday, including a meeting with women business owners and a pumpkin carving. Brady is scheduled to address the congregation at Rev. James Meeks’ predominantly black church on Sunday.
Quinn kept up his message of job creation at rallies on Chicago’s south and west sides, including at a black church where he was accompanied by Congressman Danny Davis.