It's a battle that started on the airwaves. A fight for a nomination, a hope for a chance to represent parts of more than ten counties in the newly drawn 51st district in the state senate.
In one corner, a familiar face, State Representative Chapin Rose. He's been a legislator for the past nine years.
In the other corner, a political newcomer, Tom Pliura. He's a doctor and a lawyer who got into politics after he was fed up with Springfield.
The two went head to head in Bloomington after Pliura took out ads challenging Rose to a debate. Pliura said Rose was avoiding a showdown.
"There's been no debate," he said. "We've appeared at forums where each side has talked for a couple of minutes, but there haven't been any debates."
Rose said that's not true.
"I don't know how you argue with someone who says the sky is green. We already had two debates," Rose said. "We have two more scheduled. When he starts running his ads that says we're not debating. I mean give me a break. We had a debate in Danville, we had a debate up here already."
The two candidates squared off and talked about more pressing issues: the state's growing debt and the budget.
Rose said he has the recipe to fix it.
"Jobs and budget, we've got to get the state of Illinois back to work and we've got to get the budget under control," Rose said.
Pliura said Illinois needs someone new to fix the problems.
"We can't continue to do what we've been doing. I'm a business man," he said. "We've got too many politicians down in Springfield, we don't have enough problem solvers. I like to think of myself as a problem solver."
Voters will have the ultimate decision when they head to the polls next Tuesday.
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