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April 29, 2009

Kirk gets Dem challenger

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has his first Democratic opponent for 2010 -- if he chooses to run for re-election.

Democratic state senator Michael Bond announced this afternoon he’s running for the suburban Chicago seat, which has been held by Kirk since 2000.

“After speaking with people in our communities, listening to their ideas and hearing their concerns, I’ve decided to run for Congress,” Bond said in a statement.

“I am heartened by the strong support and encouragement I’ve been getting from across the district. And I’m looking forward to a spirited debate about the issues and ideas that will lead us into the future.”

Bond is expected to face a competitive Democratic primary, with state senator Susan Garrett also seriously considering a campaign.

The eventual nominee may not get a chance to run against Kirk -- the five-term congressman is mulling a Senate run, and will make a decision by the end of the month. If he vacated the House seat, it would present Democrats with a stronger pickup opportunity.  

Kirk represents one of the most Democratic House seats held by a Republican—the district gave President Obama 61 percent of the vote last year.