A drug war cheerleader who lies about medical marijuana or a guy from Maryland who lost a senate race in his home state.

Just announced

CHICAGO — The five-week search for a Republican U.S. Senate candidate is down to two contenders: two-time presidential hopeful Alan Keyes and former Bush administration deputy drug czar Andrea Grubb Barthwell.

State party chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka announced Tuesday night that Republican leaders would interview Keyes and Barthwell on Wednesday and then choose one to take on Democratic rising star Barack Obama, almost assuring that Illinois will produce only the fifth black U.S. senator in history.

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