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In 1948, Republican incumbents Governor Dwight Green and Senator Charles (Curly) Brooks ran for re-election in Illinois. Green was elected Governor in 1941 and served two terms in office. Green had served as U.S. Attorney General for Illinois from 1931-1935, and participated in the fight against organized crime in Chicago, helping to prosecute Al Capone for tax evasion. The 1947 coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois in which 111 miners died was blamed on Green’s neglect of previous requests from minors for greater safety measures at the mine. It was also revealed that Green’s administration had elicited political contributions from mine owners during this period. Green was defeated in the 1948 election by Adlai Stevenson.
Charles (Curly) Brooks served as Republican Senator from 1940-1949, and was strongly supported by the Chicago Tribune. Brooks was a Marine veteran of WWI, and law professor at Northwestern University. Brooks was defeated in the 1948 election by Paul Douglas.