Could Mark Kirk Hurt Down Ticket Republicans if He Runs in 2016

200px-Mark_Steven_Kirk,_official_photo_portrait_colorIn 2010 Mark Kirk won in the highly contested U.S. Senate race against Alexi Giannoulias (D). However, his win didn’t translate to many other GOP victories in the state. The Republican nominees for governor Bill Brady and Lt Governor Jason Plummer both lost in a extremely tight race. Mark Kirk received much of his support from Independents and Blue-Dog Democrats, and because of that very few down ticket Republicans benefited from him being on the ticket. The status of the Republican Party in Illinois is still very weak even after the Bruce Rauner win in 2014. Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has already announced a run against Senator Kirk. Duckworth will be one of, if not the top, candidates that the Democrats will put out in the entire nation. Senator Kirk continues to have health issues after his heartbreaking and debilitating stroke. Senator Mark Kirk appears to be the most endangered Republican Incumbent Senator in 2016. Duckworth will no doubt have a lot of money to spend and she already has a big backing nationally.

The Republicans need to have a candidate that rallies the base. If the base gets excited and turns out, that could help the Republicans in the Illinois House pick up the one seat they need to breaking the super majority in Springfield. Breaking the super majority in Springfield would give Governor Rauner more flexibility in Springfield. One might ask what Republicans in Illinois excite the base? Some of the following come to mind: former Congresssman Bobby Schilling from the 17th District, former Lt Governor nominee Jason Plummer, and Congressman Adam Kinzinger from the 16th District. In Kinzinger’s case, despite having strained ties with many conservative groups, such a run could help mend the fences if he is the nominee and goes against Duckworth.

The consensus among many Republicans both in Illinois and in DC is that Senator Mark Kirk does not have the capability to run an active and energetic campaign against a solid campaigner like Duckworth who can rake in big campaign bucks and a state that has typically been blue for a number of years. With 2016 being a Presidential year and many democrats being very excited about Tammy Duckworth being the likely nominee the odds of the Republicans losing in a landslide in Illinois is heightened. The Republicans could lose seats in both the Illinois House and Senate where the Democrats already have the super majority. Without a strong Senate candidate Republicans could also lose in the 10th district where a rematch has already been set up against Robert Dold and Brad Schneider.

Senator Kirk has served with honor in the military and has had a successful political career running for Congress and for US Senate as a Republican in the home state of President Obama. If Senator Mark Kirk wishes for his seat to remain in Republican hands, it is best he step aside and allow a Schilling, Plummer or Kinzinger to step up and run an active and energetic campaign to defeat the Democrat Machine’s Tammy Duckworth.

Illinois Conservatives Statement on Aaron Schock Resignation

News broke earlier today that Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) from the 18th district, will be stepping down from office. Stories have circulated for some time of various ethics violations, and his questionable spending of taxpayer and campaign donation money. Reports indicate that he will formally leave office on March 31st.

Here at Illinois Conservatives, we take no pride nor do we rejoice that yet another elected official is leaving public office because of civil or criminal improprieties. This, alone, is not a partisan issue: Illinois has become the laughingstock of the entire country, and even the world. “Chicago” as a term now broadly encompasses our state as a place of corruption, shadiness, and elected officials taking advantage of the office and the integrity it holds while hurting the taxpayers they were elected to represent. With Congressman Schock as the latest example, even 33 year old, youthful congressmen can be just as detrimental to recklessly spending our tax dollars as 50, 60 year olds who have served 2 decades or longer in office.

This is a sad day for Illinoisans, and although we surely aren’t new to being let down by our elected officials, this hurts many that (naively) believed that sending young faces to D.C. would suddenly shake up the old business in our nation’s capital. We could say the people of the 18th congressional district deserve better, but then they knew that already. It was hard to find a candidate with the strength, both mentally and financially, to primary an incumbent who is backed by powerful interests in and outside the district. Citizens were left with little to do, either run up a candidate who will offer nothing more than “symbolic opposition”, hold their nose and continue voting for Schock, or just not vote at all and lose more hope in that they will have responsible elected officials in office.

We can imagine today’s announcement was rather bittersweet for those in the 18th district, that although they will no longer have Aaron Schock as their congressman and that they may now have a representative who will better serve them, losing a representative in such a way is both embarrassing and tragic. However, we hope with such an event like this occurring allows those in the 18th a new opportunity, that whomever is chosen to replace Schock’s seat, that the voters hold their representative’s feet to the fire. And if the replacement chosen is no better than Schock in representing the district, the likelihood of rallying behind an opposition candidate is better.