A Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin emerged Monday as a political newcomer and suburban business executive with a military background announced he’ll seek the GOP nomination next year.
Doug Truax, managing partner and co-owner of Oak Brook-based Veritas Risk Services talked about his candidacy in a three-minute web video in which he criticized Durbin and Democrats for pursing strategies that are sinking the state “deeper into economic stagnation.”
“Our leaders are piling a debt burden on our children that is immoral, they are using the Internal Revenue Service to bludgeon political opponents and generally have no clue about how to make our economy grow and our families prosper,” said the 43-year-old Downers Grove resident.
“It’s time for a new direction in Illinois, a new generation of leaders who will reform our ridiculous tax code, who will stop spending money we don’t have and who stop pretending they are helping the poor and middle class when their policies are decimating them,” said Truax, a native of New Mexico.
Truax is the first Republican to formally announce he’ll undertake the politically formidable task of challenging Durbin. The three-term Democrat received nearly 69 percent of the vote in his 2008 re-election bid against little-known Republican Steve Sauerberg of Willowbrook, who was making his first run for public office.
Truax’s biography lists him as a West Point graduate who served six years at a U.S. Army officer. State and federal campaign finance records show he gave $2,000 to Republican Mitt Romney’s failed presidential campaign bid last year, $1,500 to DuPage County Board member John Curran of Woodridge in 2011 and $500 to Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady — a donation reported eight days after Brady’s unsuccessful 2010 run against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
Truax’s company also gave $500 last year to For the Good of Illinois, a political action committee that at the time was led by Adam Andrzejewski, a failed contender for the 2010 GOP nomination for governor.
It is questionable how much national fundraising support a general election challenger to Durbin will receive, particularly when Republicans are likely to devote much of their resources toward trying to win the governor's office and gain back congressional seats lost to Democrats last year.
Durbin has not held a formal re-election announcement but has told fellow Democrats he is seeking another term to the post he was first elected to in 1996. Durbin is the second-ranking Democrat in leadership in the Senate.