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Paul Simon was a native of Oregon who later became an Illinois citizen. He entered the political arena in 1954 by winning a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. In a surprising victory, Simon became a Senator in 1984. He defeated three-time incumbent, Charles Percy, in a narrow victory securing 50% of the vote. He had a failed presidential nomination in 1988.
Simon won re-election for the Senate in 1990 by defeating Lynn Martin. Simon won the election with 65% of the vote and had over 1 million more votes than Martin. This marks one of the largest margins of victory for any Senator.
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. (0109). U.S. Senator Paul Simon. Southern Illinois University. https://paulsimoninstitute.siu.edu/about/senator-paul-simon.php