In the next Congress, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk will hold the Illinois Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama. He defeated state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a personal friend of Obama’s.
Both candidates had flaws: Giannoulias drew attention to exaggerations Kirk had made in his military record, and Kirk pointed to the work Giannoulias’ family’s bank did with mobsters before federal regulators took it over earlier this year.
The win came as Republicans defeated Democratic Reps. Debbie Halvorson, Bill Foster and Phil Hare. Republican Bob Dold won Kirk’s former House seat, beating Democratic nominee Dan Seals. Democratic Rep. Melissa Bean’s re-election race has not yet been called. Democrats had previously been confident they could win the Kirk seat in Illinois’ 10th district, but the night has been especially tough for the party.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.