The primary elections in Illinois will be held next Tuesday, February 2.
The Republican nominee for U.S. Senate is virtually certain to be Congressman Mark Kirk, 50, who has represented the 10th congressional district since 2001. Kirk is a lawyer, whose career before being elected to the House included the private practice of law, as well as congressional staff work. His congressional district includes northern suburbs of Chicago.
Kirk has a moderate congressional voting record. He scored only 48 on a scale of 100 with the American Conservative Union in 2008. That same year, his "liberal quotient", as measured by Americans for Democratic Action was 55%, compared to an average of 22% among all House Republicans.
This is the Senate seat that Barack Obama won in 2004. Roland Burris, the Democratic interim senator who was appointed after Obama was elected president in 2008, is not seeking a full term.