* 12:59 pm - Cillizza reports that Kirk is in…
Just hours after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan took herself out of the running for the seat held by Sen. Roland Burris (D), Rep. Mark Kirk (R) has begun telling influential folks in Washington that he will make the race.
Kirk is widely regarded as the strongest candidate Republicans can field given his proven ability to win votes in a Democratic leaning district and his fundraising prowess. ]…]
National Republicans seem likely to line up behind Kirk although Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna is in Washington today meeting with people about a possible candidacy, according to a D.C. source familiar with the visit.
* 1:01 pm - Confirmed that he’s calling around and telling people he’s in.
*** UPDATE - 1:55 pm *** Remember this from yesterday? I wonder how McKenna’s DC meeting went today? Probably not well…
The head of the Illinois Republican Party is making a move to run for the U.S. Senate.
Andy McKenna Jr. is due in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to meet with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and with GOP members of the state’s congressional delegation. Key among the latter is North Shore Congressman Mark Kirk, who so far has not heeded pleas by party leaders to run, creating a political vacuum.
Poor timing on McKenna’s part. But several top Republicans were convinced as of yesterday that LMadigan was running for Senate, which would’ve kept Kirk out.
Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent out a blast e-mail that includes highly favorable snippets from today’s Kirk coverage. Many are taking that as a message to McKenna to get the heck out.