Durbin endorses challenger in East St. Louis mayoral race

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) _ U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is wading into the mayoral race in his hometown of East St. Louis. Durbin is endorsing a challenger for her support for limiting operating hours at the city’s late-night bars and clubs.

The Belleville News-Democrat (bit.ly/1MfTNHk ) reports Durbin held a local news conference Friday in support of mayoral candidate Emeka Jackson-Hicks. She faces incumbent Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. and challenger Courtney Hoffman in the April 7 election.

The Senate’s assistant minority leader and Number-Two Democrat called for a “fresh start” in East St. Louis while crediting Jackson-Hicks for opposing a proposal by Parks to allow round-the-clock operating hours for nightclubs.

Parks could not be immediately reached for comment. Jackson-Hicks is an East St. Louis City Council member and daughter of Democratic state Representative Eddie Lee Jackson.