July 20th, 2009
04:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Republican congressman announces bid for Obama's Senate seat

Rep. Mark Kirk announced Monday that he would seek the Republican nomination for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

Rep. Mark Kirk announced Monday that he would seek the Republican nomination for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

(CNN) - Mark Kirk, the five-term congressman representing the northern Chicago suburbs, announced Monday he will seek the Republican nomination for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

The seat was formally held by Barack Obama, and currently belongs to Sen. Roland Burris who has said he will not seek to defend it.

Kirk, a moderate Republican whose district leans Democrat, said in Monday's announcement speech that he is "not an ideologue or party partisan," according to the Chicago Tribune.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly endorsed Kirk, calling him an "experienced leader."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was quick to tie Kirk to former President Bush's economic policies.

“Republicans are asking the people of Illinois to replace the President with the anti-President,” DSCC Communications Director Eric Schultz said. “Congressman Kirk supported the Bush economic approach that got us into this mess and is now standing in the way of President Obama’s solutions at every turn.”

On the Democratic side, candidates reportedly eyeing the seat include Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson, and Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy. Kennedy is the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-New York.
Lisa Madigan, the current state attorney general widely believed to be a top candidate for the Democratic nomination, said earlier this month she would not run.

(Updated with DSCC comment)

Filed under: Mark Kirk
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. John

    Hooray for Senator Franken. His proposal makes good sense and highlights a worthy program for returning veterans.

    July 20, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    Good, hope he wins it.

    July 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Another Kennedy running on name recognition alone.

    JFK and RFK were great, great men. It boggles the imagination that Ted Kennedy could have been produced from the same loins.

    Either he's the gardener's son or genetics isn't the exact science I believed it to be.

    July 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Susan (Michigan)

    Funny, the Republican Party also called Palin "an experienced leader" in August.

    July 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Cara

    The Republican party put us where we are today....why would anyone vote for this moron?

    July 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Dennis

    I believe he has a legitimate chance. People in downstate are totally disgusted withChicago politics.

    July 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. not blinded

    Now, Obama or Blago aren't offering him this seat at a reduced price, are they?

    July 20, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. donttreadonme

    Great guy he will get a bunch of support!

    July 20, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. viper

    The seat doesn't belong to Obama. The senate seat belongs to the people of Illinois.

    July 20, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Typical Republican

    Oh heck yea....I'm gonna vote for him. Because we need more people holding up progress and refusing to invest in america.

    Since when did anyone ever make money by investing it? I tell you...it's moronic to think you can make money by investing in your business. Obama wants to invest in this country...he's so stupid!

    July 20, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. JLS

    This guy should win in a cake-walk.

    July 20, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. fellow from Chicago

    And he'll get it in a heavy leaning blue state. How will Senator Durbin react? Fun times are here in 2010 and 2012.

    July 20, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Jefe

    If Madigan runs, I'll vote for her. Otherwise, I would "cross party lines" this time to vote for Kirk. I know AG Madigan feels she is not corrupt enough to be in the Senate, but the fact is, we need more people there who "don't belong".

    July 20, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Mich

    Kirk will be fantastic for our state. Lets take Illinios back from the Chicago Left Wingers.

    July 20, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Rob Johnson

    It's tough to imagine any Republican winning that seat, but after the whole sordid Blagojevich/Burrus saga, stranger things could happen.

    There isn't a single Democrat in Illinois who can claim to be totally out of the mud on that one. I'm as liberal as the day is long, but the Illinois Democratic Party deserves some flack for even nominating Blagojevich as their candiate for Governor.

    The more we find out about Blago, the more amazing it seems that anybody EVER supported that egotistical hack.

    July 20, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Kimberly

    whatever, never gonna happen, the same people that voted in Obama will come in and vote for a Dem. Usually I am not so partisan, but theright have made that goal impossible. They have made it clear they will not help Obama and will say no at every turn. We can NOT allow another right winger in there to help them play politics as usual. I want someone that will work with our President and THIS country, NOT against him and the USA! The right need to be made over BIG time before they win any seats outside the uneducated south and the red neck west

    July 20, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. johnnie

    Mark Kirk , the (Republican ) nomination, if you even get that, the senate seat will be won by a (Democrat) ,your in (Democrat Land) Hmm, (Christoher Kennedy) is from that (Dynasty).... President Obama is still and always will be (LOVED) in that state.. The (GOP) will be totally a non (FACTORO in 2012. The (ECONOMY) will be back on (TRACK) and the (STOCK MARKET) will have (rebounded) . Jobs will be on the (RISE) . and the President (approval ratings ) will be thru the (ROOF)............(NO CHANCE)..........

    July 20, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. yuri

    Good luck, you candidate. Remember, no adultery, bribery, robbery, and mockery of the opposite party, unfairly.

    July 20, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I will like to see Jesse Jackson Jr. run for the seat. But with a Kennedy in the running, this election is a lost cause for everyone else.

    July 20, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Go get 'em, Representative Kirk.

    July 20, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Zero.

    This Guy cant win, they are Black-Racists in this state.

    July 20, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Andrew in Illinois

    Kirk can't win here. No pollster has this race as a tossup or leaning Republican and the fact that Republicans are endorsing a guy who supported the cap and trade measure for carbon emissions that they vehemently opposed shows that they have no idea what they're doing or how to make a come back. It's either going to be Giannoulias or Kennedy.

    July 20, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Taylor B1

    Kirk comes out of the gate for this race with a lot of problems. His very odd "I will or I won't" dance which he did with the state GOP chair made him look weak. Lack of support from other members of the state GOP delegation does not bode well for a united party. And...let's be honest...Illinois in 2010 is not the same as the Illinois which sent Charles Percy to the Senate for three terms...or even the illinois which sent Peter Fitzgerald back there for one.

    Kirk does not appeal to the shrinking GOP base...nor does he seem any more or less "clean" than either of the major Dems who are running or who might run (Giannoulias and Kennedy). One visit from the President to the state during the campaign will finish him off right quick.

    July 20, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-Reagan Republican

    Good luck and fat chance! The GOP isn't worth it anymore!

    July 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. eliot from chicago

    He has no "right wing" Republicans going against him, so he can run to the center, thus giving the Republicans a chance in the general election.

    This was not a luxury that Spector or other socially moderate Republicans have had in the past few years.

    July 20, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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