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Willie Wilson says he’s running for U.S. Senate against Sen. Durbin

“I am tired of the Democratic party taking advantage of black people and minorities,” Wilson told the Sun-Times. “I’m tired of people just being taken advantage of, and we should be treated like anybody else. And we are sick and tired, and I’m going to single that out.”

Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Adding to the list of potential challengers to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, businessman Willie Wilson — fresh off this year’s mayoral election — says he’ll run as an independent against the veteran politician.

Wilson said he plans to outline his campaign platform at a Tuesday press conference.

“I am tired of the Democratic party taking advantage of black people and minorities,” Wilson told the Sun-Times. “I’m tired of people just being taken advantage of, and we should be treated like anybody else. And we are sick and tired, and I’m going to single that out.”

Asked if he’s concerned about people not knowing him outside of Chicago, Wilson said, “If they don’t know me, they will get to know me.”

He said he plans to self-finance his campaign, just as he did with his mayoral run.

“I got my own money,” Wilson said. “I’m not going to be controlled by anybody.”

Wilson in July said Mayor Lori Lightfoot hadn’t returned his calls after her victory. And now, Wilson says Durbin, too, won’t return his calls.

On Feb. 26, Wilson won 13 of 18 black wards on the strength of his charitable giving. On April 2, Lightfoot won all of those wards — and all 50 citywide — after Wilson’s endorsement.

There were some hiccups in Wilson’s mayoral run — like his handing out of couple hundred grand in cash at a South Side church. The Dr. Willie Wilson Foundation promoted the event at New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church as “one of the biggest property tax relief assistance” events of the year. On its Facebook page, the foundation said Wilson would be “giving away $300,000 to struggling homeowners.”

In the end, Wilson told the Sun-Times he gave away closer to $200,000 in checks and cash. In a phone interview, he called it “a normal thing for me.”

Wilson, a businessman and philanthropist, also ran for mayor in 2015 and ran for president in 2016.

Durbin’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran has thrown his name into the Senate race as a Republican challenger. Retired police officer and U.S. Navy veteran Peggy Hubbard, former gubernatorial candidate Robert Marshall and dermatologist Omeed Memar also say they’re running for the March 17 primary contest.

Wilson’s Senate bid was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.