GOP Moderate Kirk Wins Ill. Senate Primary

Blows away tea-party-backed candidates, will try for Obama's seat
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2010 9:19 PM CST
Updated Feb 2, 2010 10:22 PM CST
GOP Moderate Kirk Wins Ill. Senate Primary
US Rep. Mark Kirk will win the Illinois Republican Senate primary, the AP projects   (AP Photo)

Moderate Mark Kirk has won Illinois’ Republican Senate primary, blowing away two conservative opponents backed by tea-party contingents. The congressman has 56% of the vote with more than 82% of precincts reporting—giving him a 37% edge over Patrick Hughes. Analysts predicted that a clear Kirk victory would take much of the steam out of the tea-party movement.

State treasurer Alexi Giannoulias scored the Democratic nomination, the Chicago Tribune reports, grabbing nearly 40% of the vote in a more even field. He'll face Kirk for the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, and given to Roland Burris by since-impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Burris decided not to run for a full term of his own.
(More Mark Kirk stories.)

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