So now it's official. Alan Keyes will be the Republican candidate for the US Senate from Illinois this November. In accepting his party's nomination this afternoon, Keyes made it clear that he does not plan to abandon his well-known conservative positions, especially his pro-life views and his opposition to gay marriage. He will face off against Democrat Barack Obama. There are a number of good things about this match-up:

1) This will be the first-ever Senate race between two African-American candidates from the major parties.

2) The ideological differences could not be more pronounced. Keyes is as conservative as Obama is liberal.

3) Alan Keyes will make sure the great moral issues are at the forefront of the discussion.

4) National attention will be focused on this Senate race, which probably helps Keyes since Obama has such a huge advantage at the moment.

5) This enlivens what was shaping up as dreary election season in Illinois.

Some people think Keyes should not have entered the race since he has no ties to Illinois. That's a difficulty, but it's not a moral objection. As long as he establishes residency in the state by election day, he qualifies to be on the ballot.

I've liked Alan Keyes for years. He is brilliant, incisive, unafraid, an incredible public speaker, devastating in debate, and thoroughly committed to defending the Christian worldview. A friend who ran for statewide office in Illinois told me earlier today that Keyes has almost no chance of winning. That's certainly true tonight, but things can change quickly in politics. And since the Republicans had no candidate at all, at least there will be a contest this fall. Meanwhile, Alan Keyes has come to Illinois, and I can't see anything bad about that.


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