Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign event for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at the University of Illinois Chicago earlier this month. (File Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

How first lady, Rauner factor into their parties' House races

First lady Michelle Obama headlines a rally for Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Saturday — the last of a series of White House assists — as Republicans tell me the coattails of GOP governor hopeful Bruce Rauner will help two critical Downstate congressional races.

Bruce Rauner (left) and United States Senator Mark Kirk wait to be introduced at news conference announcing the Veterans for Rauner Coalition in September. File Photo. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Sen. Mark Kirk stumping for Rauner, Dold

In the closing days of toss-up campaigns, Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., is stumping with GOP governor nominee Bruce Rauner and former Rep.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, left, and his opponent, Republican state Sen., Jim Oberweis, squared off for a final time Wednesday night before next week's election | (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time

Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill., and GOP Senate nominee Jim Oberweis clashed Wednesday in their last joint forum before the election over raising the minimum wage, whether Durbin is a bully and whether Oberweis supports the Tea Party.

Michelle Obama returning to Illinois

First lady Michelle Obama returns to Illinois to get out the vote for Democrats in her home state, hitting Moline on Saturday at a rally to help boost turnout for Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.

Obama guidance, schedule, Oct.29, 2014. More Ebola

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday meets with members of his public health and national security teams on the government’s Ebola response and later delivers remarks at an event with health care workers fighting Ebola.

Joe Ricketts has contributed $4.8 million to super PACs in 2014. | AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Illinois super PAC superplayers spend big

A Republican gay rights super PAC on Tuesday reported spending $295,880 in ads and direct mail to help former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., in his close race with Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., who also supports gay marriage.

Jon Carson steps down as chief of Obama's Organizing for Action

WASHINGTON — Jon Carson, the executive director of Organizing for Action, the spin-off of the Obama campaign based in Chicago's West Loop, is stepping down to join a solar company but will remain connected to the group by becoming a co-chair of the OFA board of directors along with current chair Jim Messina.