04/09/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Alexi Giannoulias: Dick Durbin To Head Alexi's Senate Campaign

Alexi Giannoulias has found a powerful ally to serve as the chairman of his campaign.

Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois's other senator and the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, will help Giannoulias in his general election campaign, as the party hopes to keep the seat out of Republican hands in November.

The addition of a heavyweight such as Durbin shows just how serious the Democrats are about the threat posed by Rep. Mark Kirk, a fifth-term congressman from Chicago's north suburbs and the Republican candidate for the seat. It also shows where the focus of the race will be, geographically speaking. Durbin is very popular downstate, and with Kirk and Giannoulias both coming from Chicagoland, the two will be fighting hard to win voters in central and southern Illinois.

The Sun-Times reports that Giannoulias officially kicks off his campaign Sunday, with an event with Sen. Durbin in Springfield. The two are expected to focus on jobs.