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Democrat Durbin endorses Tari Renner for Bloomington mayor
Bloomington mayoral candidate Tari Renner, left, is set to be endorsed Saturday by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Renner's campaign announced. (Pantagraph file photos)

BLOOMINGTON - Bloomington mayoral candidate Tari Renner welcomed the endorsement Saturday of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and the second-highest ranking member of the Senate. | Normal firefighters endorse Matthews for mayor | Election page

Speaking at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 99 on Eldorado Road, Durbin said he's backing Renner because he's known him more than a dozen years and he believes Renner is the best man for the job.

"This economy needs to bring the very best talent forward," Durbin said.

Renner, an Illinois Wesleyan University political science professor and a McLean County Board member, is in a three-way race against incumbent Mayor Steve Stockton and newcomer Eric Decossas.

The election is April 7.

Durbin pointed to Renner's experience on the McLean County Board and to his campaign's success bringing together management, labor, and working families.

Durbin serves as the Senate majority whip under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Renner said he was deeply honored to accept Durbin's endorsement. Renner also has garnered endorsements from the city's police and firefighter unions, the first time either group has done so in their 71-year existence, he said.

Stockton, a retired State Farm Insurance Cos. vice president, said he wasn't surprised by Saturday's announcement.

"This is just a replay of Professor Renner's most recent campaign for U.S. Congress when Sen. Durbin not only endorsed him, by also provided funding and a campaign aide," said Stockton.

Decossas, a business analyst at State Farm, said Durbin's backing links Renner to Washington, D.C. politicians who are "wasting taxpayers' dollars."

"(Durbin's) endorsement shows, to me, that Tari Renner is a political insider," Decossas said.

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