With candidates already jumping into Illinois’ 2016 U.S. Senate race, Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) isn’t backing down from some of his more liberal positions. While Kirk proudly describes himself as a conservative on fiscal issues, he doesn’t attach the same label to himself on areas such as gay rights. He was one of the first Republicans in Congress to support same sex marriage, but he says members of his party haven’t turned against him because of that stance.
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“Thank God it hasn’t. I’m not going to give up on that,” Kirk said. “I’m going to make sure we stand for equal rights as the party of Abe Lincoln. Republicans started out (favoring) free soil, free labor, to make sure the only way to handle a freedom problem is to provide more freedom.”
Kirk’s other moderate positions include agreeing with the scientific consensus that humans have played a role in causing climate change, and favoring comprehensive immigration reform.
While no other Republican has officially entered the 2016 U.S. Senate race, former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh has said he’s considering challenging Kirk due to Kirk’s moderate stances and working relationship to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).