Sen. Mark Kirk Has a Stroke Illinois Republican who won Barack Obama's seat hospitalized By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jan 23, 2012 11:36 AM CST 27 comments Comments Mark Kirk talks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kirk's office says he has suffered a stroke, and is undergoing surgery. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (Newser) – The Republican who replaced Barack Obama in the US Senate underwent surgery today, after suffering a stroke this weekend, his office has revealed. Mark Kirk, 52, is currently recovering in Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. "Due to his young age, good health, and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the Senator's recovery," his office said in a sparse statement.