10/24/2013 01:23 pm ET

Jim Oberweis Eyes U.S. Senate Run, Say's He'll 'Retire' Dick Durbin


Freshman Illinois Senator Jim Oberweis says he's mounting a campaign for national office -- and he's putting his target squarely on the back of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

In a Wednesday statement, the five-time electoral loser said he was "strongly" considering a run against Durbin after seeing promising poll numbers.

Oberweis told NBC Chicago he "had pretty much decided not to" run, believing it to be "almost impossible" to beat Durbin.

"Then Ron Gidwitz contracted a poll ... The results stunned me. I expected to trail Durbin about 60 percent to 30 percent. Instead it was 49 percent to 38 percent with me leading among younger voters and independents."

Oberweis, who strongly opposes same-sex marriage, shared his political plans while attending the Illinois Family Institute's rally in Springfield to gather support opposing a marriage equality law in Illinois.

“Several people have asked me today if I’m going to run for the U.S. Senate against Dick Durbin," Oberweis said according to the Sun-Times. "The short answer is if we get enough petitions signed to file in time, I will be there as a candidate to retire him permanently."

Durbin's office did not comment on Oberweis' remarks.

Oberweis only recently landed his first political win after prevailing in a three-way state Senate primary in 2012 before winning the general election. Oberweis unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004, lost in the 2006 GOP primary for governor and failed at a congressional bid in 2008.

The Sugar Grove, Ill. politician who made his fortune in the dairy business already has two primary challengers should he opt to run for a U.S. Senate seat. According to the Associated Press, businessman Doug Truax and Kane County Regional School board member Chad Koppie are also making primary bids.



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