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Dick Versace announces congressional run

Oct. 9, 2007 at 1:39 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Former Bradley University and NBA basketball coach Dick Versace has announced his candidacy for a U.S. Congress seat in Illinois.

Versace, who has no background in politics, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal Register reported Tuesday.

"I’m not going to answer questions on issues today because if I answered questions on issues today, the people I’m going to go visit would say, 'What do you need to see us for? We already know where you stand,'" Versace said.

The former coach said he will begin a "listening tour" Oct. 18th of all 20 counties in the 18th Congressional District.

Versace offered only one window into his political views -- opposition to the war in Iraq.

"I pledge to you now to do everything in my power to bring an end to this costly war and bring our brave sons and daughters home," Versace said.

Versace is currently the only Democrat in the race, the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star reported. State Rep. Aaron Schock, Heartland Partnership chief executive Jim McConoughey and former Peoria City Councilman John Morris are seeking the Republican nomination.

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