Sen. Kirk Stresses Importance Of Senate Vote Due To Unpopular Presidential Candidates

Mark Kirk in Washington with Reporters
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., listens to a reporter's question on Capitol Hill, in Washington on June 20, 2016. Alex Brandon / Associated Press
Mark Kirk in Washington with Reporters
Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., listens to a reporter's question on Capitol Hill, in Washington on June 20, 2016. Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Sen. Kirk Stresses Importance Of Senate Vote Due To Unpopular Presidential Candidates

Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk repeated Wednesday that he’ll write-in former U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus for president.

Kirk, a Republican, has hoped Illinois voters would identify with his struggle to pick a presidential candidate worth his vote, saying he’s showing independence by not committing to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Speaking with reporters at the Illinois State Fair, Kirk said voters have “two terrible choices” between Clinton and Trump.

“(Voters) should just follow my job and when you have two terrible choices, you take extra care to make sure you have the best senator possible,” Kirk said, putting in a plug for his own re-election campaign this November against U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Kirk fully acknowledged Petraeus will not win the presidency, despite his vocal support for the former CIA director. But that message doesn’t resonate with some Republican Party faithful like Dennis Fisher, a GOP precinct committeeman from Gibson City, Illinois.

Fisher quietly held up a Trump sign while Kirk delivered his speech on Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair.

“If Senator Kirk doesn’t want to support our Republican nominee, I’m not gonna give him my vote,” Fisher said.

Fisher said unlike Kirk, he won’t write-in a name for senator when he casts a ballot. He’ll just skip it.

Tony Arnold is WBEZ’s State Politics reporter. Follow him @tonyjarnold.