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U.S. Senate primary: High Court nomination divides GOP hopefuls: Political newcomer Marter positions himself to right of incumbent Kirk
By Mike Riopell, Political Editor, March 6, 2016
It didn’t take long after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia before politically savvy Illinoisans started wondering what U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, would do.
His party leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Republicans wouldn’t consider a replacement until after the election. Days later, Kirk disagreed and called on President Barack Obama to appoint a centrist candidate.
“Such a selection by the president would demonstrate a break from the rancor and partisanship of Washington and a real commitment to a new beginning even as his own term nears its end,” he wrote in an op-ed.
Kirk is on the ballot next month for the first time since his 2012 stroke, trying to win a second term in the U.S. Senate.
His move on the Scalia appointment might take an attack line out of Democrats’ playbook in the November election, but it puts him at odds with his March 15 primary opponent, James Marter of Oswego, who is trying to run to Kirk’s political right.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Republican Challenger James Marter Has Harsh Words for Mark Kirk
Oswego, IL – February 23, 2016 – Phones, emails, Twitter and Facebook notifications have been blowing up at the James Marter for United States Senate campaign office ever since incumbent Mark Kirk’s rambling op-ed about selecting a Supreme Court Justice to ‘bridge the gap’.
While on the campaign trail voters have responded with gratitude that anyone is willing to run against Republican Senate incumbent Mark Kirk. Some have suggested they would vote for “Mickey Mouse” or “a cup of coffee” before voting for Mark Kirk.
Fortunately for them they do not have to vote for an inanimate object or a Disney character. Kirk, who some have suggested should change the parenthetical letter after his name to a “D”, has a challenger – James Marter and he has some harsh words for his opponent.
Contact: Raquel Mitchell
Phone: (630) 936-9578
IN THE NEWS:
The most endangered Republican in the country
How gaffe-prone Sen. Mark Kirk, written off by much of his party, is trying to hang on in Illinois.
Northbrook, IL - October 27, 2015
It’s hard to tell sometimes that Mark Kirk is running for reelection here as a Republican: In a span of two days on the campaign trail last week, the first-term senator name-checked Bernie Sanders as an ally, pitched himself as a champion of the environment and pledged that the federal government wouldn’t shut down over Planned Parenthood.
“It is poor government to close down the government over Planned Parenthood — makes no sense,” Kirk told the New Trier Republicans before their annual fall dinner.
A centrist on social issues and a hawk on foreign policy — he praised Sanders for backing his push for sanctions against Iran — Kirk has long been among a shrinking number of moderate Republicans in Congress. But now the 56-year-old lawmaker is in the fight of his political career – the most vulnerable Republican senator on the ballot next year who occupies one of five seats Democrats must win to take back the Senate.
To make matters worse, Kirk has been largely written off by national party operatives,
National Coverage, February 21, 2016
Did you catch James' interview on Tom Gresham's nationally syndicated Gun Talk? It is the only nationally syndicated radio talk show about firearms, shooting and gun rights. Click here to listen to the recorded podcast: http://guntalk.libsyn.com/guntalk-02-21-2016-part-c
Tom Gresham said: "Illinois businessman James Marter is the only pro-gun candidate in either party running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois - and he'd like the vote of every one of the 1.5 million FOID cardholders in Illinois, but he'll take just the 425,000 to 450,000 votes he needs to win. He visits this Sunday to talk about his vision for the state, and more."
Click to read more: http://www.guntalk.com/site.php?pageID=15&newsID=874
IN THE PRESS:
Is Sen. Mark Kirk Afraid Of His Primary Opponent James Marter? You Betcha
Ulysses Arn, February 27, 2016
Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is the most vulnerable incumbent seeking reelection in 2016 and his precarious position coupled with his lingering health issues related to his stroke several years ago has caused the states Junior Senator to become deathly afraid of even being in the same room as his conservative primary challenger Oswego businessman James Marter.
Last Saturday the LaSalle county Tea Party hosted a series of debates among local candidates, including for the US Senate. James Marter was in attendance to make his case to the 100 plus voters there, Sen. Kirk on the other hand sent his campaign’s field director.
On Friday the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board announced that they aren’t even going to bother holding a meeting with Sen. kirk and Marter because Kirk refuses to schedule so time to meet with them.
Marter told Illinois Review Friday that:“I’m disappointed that the media can’t do their job to provide information to readers,” Marter said. “Seems to me the Chicago Tribune is in the tank for Mark Kirk.”
McHenry County Blog:
Kirk Opponent James Marter in Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake, IL - February 16, 2016
U.S. Senate candidate James Marter came to the Crystal Lake Rib House Monday night to tell why he should be nominated for the GOP ballot, instead of incumbent Mark Kirk.
Kirk is widely believed to the be the most vulnerable incumbent Republican Senator up for re-election.
He reminds me of Charles Percy the time he was beaten. But, while Percy tacked to the right in order to win nomination, Kirk is acting more like a Democrat in preparation for a fall election in which he is certain he will be the Republican candidate.
Marter said he would:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Kirk's Underdog Primary Rival Vows to Wind Up 'Story of the Day'
Chicago, IL - February 27, 2016
Faced with a serious threat from Democrats in November, Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s campaign has loaded its website with general election rhetoric.
The campaign used its Twitter feed this month to call U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the leading Democratic challenger, a “naïve fool” who “lives in a fantasy world of her own making.”
Harsh words. But James Marter might also feel a sting.
That’s because the 56-year-old Kirk still must survive a challenge by Marter for the Republican nomination in Illinois’ March 15 primary before facing Duckworth, Andrea Zopp or state Sen. Napoleon Harris in November. And weeks before Election Day, Kirk’s campaign already was looking well beyond Marter.
The Oswego Republican, a 53-year-old software consultant, brings little name recognition to the race and even less money. He last reported $2,600 in campaign cash on hand, compared to Kirk’s $3.79 million. But Marter says Kirk needed a Republican challenger, and he has promised a big headline for the day after the election.
“I have a legitimate shot at unseating a sitting senator,” Marter said. “That’s going to be the story of the day.”
The country today has lost a champion. Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of integrity, great intellect and defender of America's Founding Principles as set forth in the Constitution. He was, as Judge Richard A. Posner wrote in The New Republic in 2011, “the most influential justice of the last quarter century.” I, of course, am saddened for his family. I am deeply aggrieved for our country. We are in pivotal flux in ideology across this nation. I pray his successor is a person of distinction whose judgement steers toward keeping, with grace, our representative republic.
IN THE PRESS:
Kirk Tries to Look Past Marter Toward November Matchup
The Daily Herald, February 29, 2016
It didn't take long after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia before politically savvy Illinoisans started wondering what U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, would do.
His party leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said Republicans wouldn't consider a replacement until after the election. Days later, Kirk disagreed and called on President Barack Obama to appoint a centrist candidate.
"Such a selection by the president would demonstrate a break from the rancor and partisanship of Washington and a real commitment to a new beginning even as his own term nears its end," he wrote in an op-ed.
Kirk is on the ballot next month for the first time since his 2012 stroke, trying to win a second term in the U.S. Senate. His move on the Scalia appointment might take an attack line out of Democrats' playbook in the November election, but it puts him at odds with his March 15 primary opponent, James Marter of Oswego, who is trying to run to Kirk's political right.