Republicans celebrate victories in Illinois

November 3, 2010

By Lynette Kalsnes

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(WBEZ/Lynette Kalsnes)
The media swarms Kirk, who's expected to take his U.S. Senate seat soon, as he greets voters.

Republicans are taking a victory lap in Chicago today.

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk and Robert Dold greeted commuters at Ogilvie Transportation Center this morning. Kirk and Dold called out "thank you" over and over to people as they streamed off their trains. In return, many commuters offered the pair hand shakes and thumbs ups.

"Very proud of you," one woman said. "Good luck. Change the country."

Kirk took President Obama's old U.S. Senate seat, and Dold won Kirk's seat in the House. Kirk called the vote a "stunning rebuke" to Democratic leaders in Congress.

"But partisanship now should be set aside on behalf of principled economic leadership, lower the debt, cut spending, make sure that taxes don't come up," Kirk said. "And if independent-minded Democrats agree, then build a strong bipartisan coalition behind that."

Their victories were part of a strong showing for Republicans nationally. In Illinois, they gained seats in the U.S. House, as well as the Senate post.