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Local

Oberweis eyes run in Lauzen’s district

Jim Oberweis said he would not seek the Republican nomination for Kane County Board chairman in 2012, but he is eyeing a run for the 25th State Senatorial District.

“It’s no on county board chairman,” Oberweis, 65, said Thursday. “I attended a couple of meetings. My passion is economic policy, and I don’t think that is the focus of the Kane County Board. They have a lot of important things regarding county planning and things going on.”

The Sugar Grove resident is chairman of Oberweis Dairy in North Aurora.

County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said she will not seek a third term but would run for state senate in the newly formed 33rd Senate District.

“I have a number of people encouraging me for the senate in the 25th District,” Oberweis said, referring to the seat currently held by State Sen. Chris Lauzen R-Aurora since 1992. “I am taking that very seriously. I suspect he [Lauzen] is not going to run for re-election.”

Oberweis said he would decide in a couple of weeks.

Lauzen himself is pondering whether to run for re-election, county board chairman or congress against former Congressman Bill Foster in the newly drawn 11th Congressional District.

Lauzen said he would announce his intentions at his annual fundraiser, the Porky Picnic, during the program portion from 6-6:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at Blackberry Farm in Aurora.

But Lauzen would not comment about his former rival’s plans.

“It would be more appropriate for me not to comment on any race – including mine – until I make the final decision and announcement at the Porky Picnic,” Lauzen said.

Lauzen and Oberweis faced off in a bitter primary fight in 2008, when each sought the Republican nomination to run against Democrat Foster of Batavia.

Oberweis won the GOP nomination, but lost to Foster who won Speaker Dennis Hastert’s former seat in the 14th Congressional District.

Foster served one term and lost last year to Republican Randall Hultgren of Winfield, who now serves in that district. Hultgren was a state senator.

Lauzen said Oberweis spent $2.5 million in that primary race. Lauzen’s campaign spent $850,000, but only raised $600,000, leaving him with a $250,000 debt. Lauzen said he has been gradually paying that debt off, getting it down to $135,000.

Lauzen said no matter what he decides to do, he will have to pay that debt off.

Lauzen is to appear at a fundraiser tonight at the Union League Club featuring U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-McHenry.

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