ILLINOIS

Durbin Defends Kirk

A potential primary challenger comes out swinging against the incumbent.

Andrea Drusch
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Andrea Drusch
Aug. 3, 2015, 5:26 a.m.

Failed Chicago mayoral contender William Kelly (R) announced that he’s “exploring a bid to challenge” Sen. Mark Kirk (R). Kelly called Kirk “a disaster,” and attacked the senator’s “physical condition.”

Kelly: “When I see them carrying Mark Kirk around, it’s like the political version of Weekend at Bernie’s. “¦ What is making it even more sickening is that our governor, Bruce Rauner (R), is the one who’s propping him and carrying him around and pretending that’s everything OK for his own political purposes.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D), who has endorsed Kirk’s likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-08), came to Kirk’s defense.

Durbin: “Sen. Kirk has apologized for some of his comments, and I accept that. All of us in public life have said things we wish we could have say differently, but he’s made those mistakes. We disagree on some issues. We continue to try and find ways to work for the good of this state.” (WBGZ)

SIDE SHOW: “A whistle-blower lawsuit dating back to” Duckworth’s “tenure as head of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is set for an initial hearing Tuesday in a trial expected to play out next year during her pursuit of a U.S. Senate seat.”

“One of the employees,” at a veterans home “says she was fired by” Duckworth for being “insubordinate.” Butler “later was put on leave instead. … On Friday, Republicans released a 2007 email from Duckworth that includes her writing of Butler: ‘I screwed up in firing her since she actually is to be put on disciplinary leave first.’” (Chicago Daily Herald)

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