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.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.