CHICAGO – Nineteen powerful Illinois Republicans met in Chicago Tuesday to settle on a candidate for the U.S. Senate race. Jack Ryan (search), the winner of the Republican primary, dropped out of the contest after allegations surfaced from his now ex-wife that Ryan brought her to sex clubs.
The Land O' Lincoln GOP has struggled for a year to find a Senate candidate and now they have no one to run against Barack Obama (search), the national Democratic Party's rising new star.
The seat belongs to Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (search), a Republican who is not running for re-election.
Former Gov. Jim Edgar (search) was asked by the White House to run but declined. Since Ryan's departure, there have been many more "nos," including one from state party boss Judy Barr Topinka (search), former Gov. Jim Thompson (search), state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger (search) and even former Chicago Bears' coach Mike Ditka (search).
Despite having no one to run against for a month, Obama — who gave the keynote address at last week's Democratic National Convention in Boston — is still running hard and it doesn't seem to matter to him who the Illinois GOP puts up to run against him.
Even knowledgeable Republicans say Obama is a sure thing for the seat.
Click on the box at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Steve Brown.