Dick Durbin re-elected to U.S. Senate


Daily file photo by Paige Leskin

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin won re-election Tuesday night, pulling in over 50 percent of the votes.

Sam Heller, Assistant City Editor

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was re-elected to represent Illinois in the Senate, a position he has held since 1997, on Tuesday night.

The Associated Press called the election at 7:00 p.m. Durbin won, receiving 52.3 percent of the votes with 74 percent of precincts reporting. Republican candidate Mark Curran came in second, receiving 40.5 percent. 

Durbin ran against Green Party candidate David Black, Libertarian Danny Malouf and Willie Wilson of the Willie Wilson Party.  Going into the election, Durbin was heavily favored to win, as has been the case in each of his five elections.

Durbin has acted as the Democratic Party Whip since 2005 and will likely continue to hold this position over the next six years. 

“Thank you, Illinois,” Durbin tweeted Tuesday night after his victory was announced. “I’m honored to continue this fight for our families, our values, and our future.”

During this election cycle, Durbin ran on a platform heavily focused on affordable health care. Durbin has long been a proponent of improving health care, strongly supporting the Affordable Care Act, penning legislation to ban smoking on commercial airlines and winning a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Lung Association. In a September interview with the Chicago Tribune, he said affordable health care has “never been more important” because of COVID-19.

Last month, Durbin, a member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, criticized the Amy Coney Barrett nomination, stating Trump nominated her in order to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Durbin also voted to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial in February 2020.

Another issue of importance to Durbin is fair immigration policies. Durbin introduced the Dream Act to the Senate in 2001 and has vowed to continue fighting for Dreamers to remain in the country in his upcoming election.

Durbin also critiqued Trump’s poor COVID-19 response, economic growth, criminal justice reform and gun law reform during this election cycle. 

Most of the criticism that was raised against Durbin came from Curran, who criticized Durbin’s long time in office, calling him a “career politician.” Curran, while far behind Durbin in the polls, was the most likely candidate of Durbin’s competitors to win. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Curran has yet to officially concede.

“Dick Durbin’s going to meet his maker soon enough,” Curran said in a video call with reporters. “If I was Dick Durbin I wouldn’t dance too much with this victory because he’s not done right by the people of Illinois, and he’s going to be judged on that by the ultimate judge.”

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Twitter: @samheller5

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