7 Illinois Republicans seek to replace Duckworth in Senate

Election 2024
Republican primary candidates for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat: top row, left to right, Casey Chlebek, Matt Dubiel, Peggy Hubbard and Robert Piton. Bottom row, left to right, Kathy Salvi, Jimmy Lee Tillman II and Anthony Williams.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Mundelein attorney Kathy Salvi has a substantial early lead in the crowded GOP race to face Illinois incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth in November.

The Associated Press is reporting more than 10% of the votes have been counted, but Salvi has 40% of all votes cast in the seven-candidate race.

Peggy Hubbard, a retired law enforcement officer from Belleville, is a distant second so far with 18.7% of the vote.

The race also includes Matt Dubiel, a Naperville radio executive, with 11.6%; Casey Chlebek, a retired IT professional from Lake Forest, with 10.8%; Geneva investment manager Bobby Piton with 8.6%; Anthony Williams, a pastor from Dolton, with 6.1%; and Jimmy Lee Tillman, a Chicago author and publisher, with 4.4% of the early vote tally.

Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat finishing up her first term, ran unopposed.

Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was awarded the Purple Heart after losing both legs when the helicopter she was piloting during the Iraq War was shot down by insurgents in 2004. She entered politics shortly after returning from war and has held numerous elected and appointed posts before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Salvi has quite a fundraising hill to climb ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

According to Federal Election Commission reports from earlier this month, Salvi has $73,869 in her campaign coffers compared to the more than $7.6 million Duckworth has. Salvi also reported loaning her campaign $250,000.

Salvi was one of the more moderate Republicans in the seven-candidate primary race. She has acknowledged the legitimacy of the Biden presidency and did not claim election fraud led to Biden’s victory in 2020.

Salvi is also the wife of former state representative Al Salvi who ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 and lost to current Illinois U.S. senior Sen. Dick Durbin.