Edgar to head Bush Illinois campaign

June 21, 2004 at 6:58 PM
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CHICAGO, June 21 (UPI) -- Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar has been named to head the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in a Midwest state where John Kerry is favored.

The two-term ex-governor was joined at news conferences in Chicago and Springfield by U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Marc Racicot, the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign chairman.

Hastert says President Bush can be competitive in Illinois.

Bush faces an uphill battle in a state that went for Al Gore by a 12 percent margin in 2000 after twice voting for Bill Clinton. Polls show Kerry heavily favored. The Bush campaign has not run television commercials in the state so far.

Edgar expressed support for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jack Ryan as potentially damaging records from his messy divorce from actress Jeri Ryan were released.

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