Illinois Democrats, including Durbin, have been grooming freshman Rep. Tammy Duckworth to run for several cycles. Consultants say the same Democrats would probably want her to look at running statewide in 2016. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Bill Foster and Mike Quigley could look at the race as well.
On the GOP statewide bench, two of the strongest contenders are gearing up for rematches in House races. Former Rep. Robert Dold, ousted in 2012 after one term, is challenging Democratic freshman Rep. Brad Schneider in the 10th District. Another one-term Republican ousted last year, Rep. Bobby Schilling, is leaning toward a rematch with Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos in the 17th District.
But for other up-and-coming Republicans in Illinois, consultants say their mobility hinges on Kirk in 2016. Kirk, who suffered a stroke at the start of his term, has said repeatedly that he is not retiring.
Republicans said GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock would look at running for an open Senate seat if Kirk called it quits. That would create openings in their 16th and 18th districts, respectively. State Sen. Dan Duffy was also mentioned as a potential candidate for Senate if Kirk were to retire.
If Kinzinger runs statewide, consultants said state Rep. John Cabello would be a strong candidate for his House seat. Cabello serves as a police detective in addition to his legislative duties.
If Schock were to run for Senate, consultants said state Sen. Darin LaHood would likely run in the 18th District. LaHood is the son of former House Republican and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Meanwhile, Democrats say they are confident they’ll keep the seats they won in 2012 in the near future.
“We’ve had a lot of change with the maps, with redistricting and the waves of ’06, ’08 and even ’12 and so a lot has stabilized,” one Democratic consultant said. “What seems to be the bigger change will be the generational shift.”
Farm Team is a state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress. The column runs on Thursdays.
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.