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Durbin poised to run in 2020: ‘Raising money and trying to lose some weight’

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., right, turns back to thank Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., left, as he speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, on prison reform legislation. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., second from left, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, second from right, participate in the news conference. | AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., gave the strongest signal yet on Sunday that he will run for re-election in 2020.

Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, was asked by NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd if he was going to be on the Illinois ballot in 2020.

Since Durbin is 74, a corps of ambitious Democrats in Illinois eager to move up have been wondering if Durbin planned to retire.

I just tell people that I’m raising money and trying to lose some weight. That’s usually the first indication that you’re up for re-election,” Durbin said.

Durbin, if he does make a final decision to seek another term, will run in a heavily Democratic state. Once J.B. Pritzker is sworn-in as governor next month, every statewide office and both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly will be controlled by Democrats.

Durbin, a native of East St. Louis, served in the U.S. House between 1983 and 1997, when he was elected to his first term in the Senate. He has been the majority or minority whip – the title for the No. 2 job – since 2005.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is up for re-election in 2022.