U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis is following other Illinois Republicans in courting African-American voters—and his supporters say it’s the Democrats who are playing in the race card in this election. One of Oberweis’ supporters in the African-American community, Pastor Corey Brooks of Chicago’s New Beginnings Church, claims the accusation that he and other pastors are being given money in exchange for backing Republicans is racist.
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“We are not a novelty, and we are not slaves,” Brooks said. Oberweis says he’s garnering support because he’s been out in these communities, something he claims Democrats haven’t been. “The Democrats have taken the African-American community votes for granted, and the Republicans have ignored ‘em, thinking we don’t have a chance to get those votes,” Oberweis said. “We’re saying that period is over.” Oberweis is opening a campaign office across the street from Brooks’ church, which is his first office in a predominantly African-American neighborhood.