Senator Kirk A No-Show At State Fair

August 19, 2015
 
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., speaks to Illinois Republican Senate leader Christine Radogno in Chicago.

In this March 16, 2015 file photo U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., speaks to Illinois Republican Senate leader Christine Radogno in Chicago.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Illinois Republicans want to make sure Mark Kirk is re-elected to the U.S. Senate - in one of the most-watched races in the country.  But he was absent Wedesday from the Illinois State Fair.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider says he's not concerned about that.

"The fact that he's not here today doesn't mean anything today other than that I'm telling you he has our unwavering support," he said.  "And the fact that he's doing the people's business instead of doing the state fair tells me he's taking care of business today."

A spokesman for the Senator says Kirk is meeting with a terrorism expert about the President's proposed nuclear deal with Iran, which Kirk opposes. 

The Democratic candidates for Kirk's seat - Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and former Chicago Urban League President Andrea Zopp - are expected to participate when the party has its rally Thursday.

GOP leaders say they support Kirk despite recent gaffes.

Wednesday was the first Governor's Day in Republican hands at the Illinois State Fair in a dozen years.  Members of the GOP rallying at the fairgrounds gave a standing ovation to Governor Bruce Rauner when he took the stage.

"The Republican Party is strong, we're going to become a two-party state again and restore the principles that make Illinois great," he said.

Rauner said the state has suffered with Democrats like House Speaker Michael Madigan in charge. 

But union members say it's Rauner who is hurting Illinois, with his cuts to services like child care assistance and home care for the disabled. Hundreds of them chanted in protest just outside Rauner's rally.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio