Joe Walsh Emerges as First Potential Primary Challenger to RINO Mark Kirk


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Former Republican congressman and conservative radio host Joe Walsh says he’s “seriously looking into” a primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk next year. He told Illinois Review he will decide within the next two months.

Citing Kirk’s lack of support for Jim Oberweis’ 2014 challenge to Dick Durbin, Walsh told the Daily Herald: “As far as I’m concerned, he [Kirk] left the Republican Party.”

The usual political pontificators speculate that Walsh is merely looking to boost ratings, and will ultimately not run. “It’s about him and promoting himself and promoting his positions. He’s just not viable,” said former professor Kent Redfield.

Kirk, who is a top Democrat target in 2016, suffered a stroke in 2012, which has left him with slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, and bound to a wheelchair much of the time.

Walsh argues that Kirk has used his stroke to garner sympathy and scare away other potential primary challengers. “I think because of his overall physical condition I don’t know anyone else who would consider challenging him and that’s just plain wrong,” he said. “If you privately talk to people who would ordinarily primary him, they’d all say ‘he’s got no business running, but I can’t challenge him, look at who he is, people are going to say I’m mean spirited because I’m challenging him.’”

Walsh believes Kirk’s health is part of the reason he shouldn’t run and will likely lose if he’s the GOP nominee. Kirk insists he’s running, and told The Hill “Based on the polling, I’d say a Republican candidate would be very foolish to come up against me… that’d be a pretty stupid move.”