McKenna Making Way For Kirk

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 13, 2009 7:00PM

2009_07_13_kirk.jpg
You see, Andy, if I have a milkshake and you have a milkshake...
After a flurry of "He's Out" and "He's In" releases, scoops, and stories, it seems we're heading for a final "He's In!" for U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk and the upcoming U.S. Senate race. Crain's Greg Hinz is reporting that state GOP chief Andy McKenna, the man most saw as Kirk's primary obstacle in securing the Republican nomination for next year's senate contest, will defer to Kirk's wishes. It's been a bit of a confusing affair, especially with two big names - State Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the seat's current holder, Roland Burris - dropping out of next year's race. Luckily, Hinz breaks it down pretty succinctly.

Mr. Kirk long had been expected to run on the GOP side if the top potential Democrat in the field, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, took a pass on the Senate. After she dropped out last Tuesday, Mr. Kirk instantly picked up the phone and told GOP powers that he was dropping in.

The problem is that, by that time, Mr. McKenna had made his own move, even going to Washington, D.C., to meet with Republican leaders to talk about running himself. That prompted huge squawks from Mr. Kirk who, depending on whom you believe, expressed outrage that another Republican would force him into a contested primary and maybe even threatened not to run at all.

So the boys took the weekend to cool off and work it out. Now they have.

The Fabulous Lynn Sweet has McKenna's statement:

"As Party Chairman my goal has been to build Party unity. Mark Kirk and I met last evening as part of an ongoing discussion about the U. S. Senate race. I reassured Mark that if he chooses to be a candidate, I will not oppose him."

Now that that's settled, who wants to be the Democrat's front-runner?

Photo via Mark Kirk's website