Blagojevich Visits Region

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Gov. Rod Blagojevich will start a three-day tour of northwestern Illinois Monday.

He starts in Streator and will move through towns including Galesburg and Mount Carroll before winding up Wednesday in Stockton.

Blagojevich will sign legislation along the way as he searches for ways to help rural fire departments and listens to local leaders about their concerns. Extended Web Coverage

Name: Rod R. Blagojevich

Birthdate: Dec. 10, 1956

Party: Democrat

Bio: Blagojevich was born in Chicago, is married and has one daughter. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1979 and earned a law degree from Pepperdine University in 1983.

Issues/Political Experience: Blagojevich has focused his campaign heavily on a promise to help families struggling because of recession. He has proposed a plan designed to help the poor pay for prescription drugs and promises to establish an investment program designed to stimulate Illinois business.

Before serving two terms in Congress, Blagojevich was an assistant Cook County state's attorney, prosecuting criminal cases. He was elected to the Illinois House in 1992 and authored truth-in-sentencing legislation, requiring criminals to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before being eligible for parole. As a member of Congress, he captured national attention at the height of the Balkan conflict when he and the Rev. Jesse Jackson went to Belgrade and secured the release of three captured U.S. soldiers. In Congress, he has championed patients-rights legislation.

Electoral History: Blagojevich was elected to the Illinois House from a North Side district in 1992 and served three terms; in 1998, he was elected to the U.S. House from the 5th District, the same seat that former House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski once held.

Source: The Associated Press contributed to this report.