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Rival hits Oberweis on wife’s out-of-state residency

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Jim Oberweis’ GOP challenger for U.S. Senate wasted little time Monday in zinging the Kane County dairy man, whose wife has established residency in Florida because of that state’s “tax advantages.”

Doug Truax, who like Oberweis submitted nominating petitions to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, said Oberweis’ family arrangement that has his wife living out of state displays poor leadership on the state senator’s part.

“As a state senator, I think he should show better leadership in general,” said Truax, a Republican from Downers Grove. “If you’re going to be on the state payroll and set up a luxury tax shelter to avoid paying state taxes, most of us can’t do that. I can’t imagine why he’d think it’s OK.

“But if you lost five races in the last 11 years, you might be looking for a different state to run in, so I can understand that,” said Truax, moments after filing his campaign signatures.

Earlier Monday, an Oberweis campaign operative who submitted nominating petitions for the state senator’s U.S. Senate bid downplayed the significance of Oberweis’ familial arrangement, which was first reported by Chicago Sun-Times Washington correspondent Lynn Sweet.

Earlier this month, Oberweis disclosed that his wife, Julie, had become a Florida resident three years ago because of that state’s “tax advantages.” Florida election records show she voted there in the 2012 primary and general elections.

“Julie’s very involved with the business,” Oberweis spokesman Jon Zahm said. “I don’t think this campaign is about candidate spouses, so we’re not going to make an issue out of Doug’s spouse, and I don’t think he’d make an issue out of Jim’s.

“We’re just going to keep it on the issues, keep it on our business experience, keep it on our record in the state Senate, keep it on our conservative values and not make an issue out of the children, grandchildren or spouses of candidates,” Zahm said.