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
US Rep. Mark Kirk will win the Illinois Republican Senate primary, the AP projects   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – 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.

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