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Cox enters GOP Senate race


June 30, 2003

Another Republican on Monday threw his hat into the U.S. Senate race, as Chicago businessman John Cox formally announced his bid for the seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.

?It?s a time for rebirth of the Republican Party in Illinois,? he said in a statement announcing his candidacy. ?As a true conservative, I?m going to run for office in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and the spirit of George W. Bush.?

Mr. Cox, 47, said some of the key issues in his campaign will be problem solving, eliminating political corruption, spurring economic growth and creating jobs. This is his second stab at becoming a senator; in 2002 he was the third runner-up for the GOP nomination, garnering nearly 200,000 votes.

The South Side native said he has continued to build on that base of supporters through his talk radio show, The Progressive Conservative, which airs on WJJG 1530 AM.

Sen. Fitzgerald announced his decision not to seek re-election in April. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, who was the GOP favorite to preserve the Republican seat, last month cited personal reasons for choosing not to run?leaving the race wide open.

Others seeking the Republican nod include Jack Ryan, a former investment banker and high school teacher who filed his candidacy papers with the Federal Election Commission in May, and Andrew McKenna Jr., president of Morton Grove-based Schwarz Paper Co., who formally announced his candidacy last week. Jim Oberweis, chairman of North Aurora-based Oberweis Dairy Inc. and president of Oberweis Securities Inc. has formed an exploratory committee but has not made an official announcement.

Mr. Cox said he would be ?an independent voice in the Senate,? with views comparable to those held by Sen. Fitzgerald. Mr. Cox said he, too, would oppose the planned expansion and modernization of O?Hare International Airport.

He said he would much rather see the billions of dollars that would be spent on such a project go towards high-speed rail or building a third airport in south suburban Peotone, where there is less congestion and more room for economic and job growth.