Sen. Mark Kirk is planning to run for re-election in 2016, despite suffering a stroke two years ago that left him partially paralyzed.
According to Roll Call, the socially moderate and fiscally conservative Illinois lawmaker "is the only Republican who could win
Illinois' Senate seat in a presidential year," as one analyst told the newspaper. Without him, Republicans would have a hard time holding on to the seat that was occupied by Barack Obama when he was elected president in 2008.
In order to set the stage for his re-election effort, Kirk, 54, plans to start early with media and personal appearances statewide designed to show that he is still up to the task of representing his constituents even though he uses wheelchair or cane now and has less stamina than when he defeated Democrat Alexi Giannoulias
"People have to get past the physical limitations of a young person like Sen. Kirk and realize he is still capable," Illinois GOP Rep. Rodney Davis told Roll Call. "The folks he represents are going to realize that he's ready for the re-election and he's going to win."
Kirk said the stroke in January 2012 caused by a blood clot, has changed his managerial style.
"I would say the difference between 'old Mark' and post-stroke Mark . . . is that pre-stroke Mark was a major micromanager . . . I just don't have the time or inclination to micromanage as much as I used to."
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