U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says it’s too soon for any Democratic challenger to assume they’ll be running against him next year.  Kirk points out there’s still the chance of a close primary race on the Democratic side. If his opponent ends up being U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), who announced her candidacy this week, Kirk says their mutual military background may make for a more respectful campaign.
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“Very much so,” Kirk said. “I would caution you all with regard to the Senate election in 2016. There’s one other step that you should be reminded is to come, which is a Democratic primary.”
The only other declared Democratic candidate is anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, who ran in the primary race for governor in 2014. Other members of Congress have been mentioned as possibilities, including U.S. Reps. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) and Robin Kelly (D-Matteson).
As for possible Republican challengers, Kirk says he doesn’t expect to have to go through a primary campaign, but former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, now a radio talk show host, has said he’s considering entering the race on the Republican side.
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