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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.