Contributor Lands Extension of P.R. Contract

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A Chicago public relations firm and big contributor to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich landed a multimillion-dollar contract with the state even though it wasn't the lowest bidder.

Edelman Public Relations will get $6.2 million over three years to promote tourism for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Edelman spokesman Toby McCarrick said Friday the contract is similar to those Edelman has had with the agency since 1993.

Edelman was not the low bidder, but McCarrick says the state considers many factors and Edelman won on reputation and expertise.

State records indicate Edelman has contributed $32,600 to the Democratic governor since 2002.

McCarrick says the firm contributes to Republicans too but records show it gave just $5,300 combined to former GOP governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan.