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Kirk to ‘protect’ Durbin relationship, not stump for Oberweis

Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill. ruled out on Monday campaigning for GOP Illinois U.S. Senate nominee Jim Oberweis, saying he would rather “protect” his relationship with Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. and not launch a “partisan jihad.”

I asked Kirk and Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas, in Chicago on Monday, if they would be seeing or campaigning for Oberweis, the newly minted GOP nominee who beat businessman Doug Truax in the Illinois primary last Tuesday. Oberweis, a state senator from Sugar Grove—who comes to the November race with some baggage--is given little chance to beat Durbin.

“I’m going to be protecting my relationship with Dick and not launching into a partisan jihad that hurts our partnership to both pull together for Illinois,” Kirk said.

Cornyn, a former chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee—the Senate Republican political operation, devoted to electing Republicans to the Senate--sidestepped a question about helping raise money for Oberweis.

Cornyn, up for re-election this November, said, “the reason I am here is for my own re-election so I’m not getting involved in the Illinois Senate race at this time.”

Cornyn is in Chicago for fundraising and for a press conference with Kirk, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez to build support to bolster federal sexual trafficking laws.

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