Ready to Run

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Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes has formally announced his run for as Illinois Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. Keyes made his announcement Sunday afternoon in Arlington Heights.

He'll replace former Republican nominee Jack Ryan who stepped down in late June amid embarrassing sex club allegations in his divorce records.

Keyes will face Democratic rising star Barack Obama, and his entry sets up the first U.S. Senate election with two black candidates representing the major parties. It seemingly also assures Illinois will produce only the fifth black senator in history.

State Republican leaders asked Keyes, a political commentator who has never lived in Illinois, to be the party's nominee last week after nearly six weeks of searching for a candidate.