Leading Off:• IL-Sen: Sen. Mark Kirk just can’t catch a break, can he? The Illinois Republican has undermined his own image as a reasonable, moderate sort of fellow with a string of remarks this year that, among other things, disparaged blacks, disparaged women, and accused Barack Obama of wanting “to get nukes to Iran.” So in an effort to shore up his fraying reputation—since, after all, he’s seeking re-election in a blue state—Kirk became the only GOP senator to vote against defunding Planned Parenthood last week … and now he’s paying a price for that, too.
Ex-Rep. Bobby Schilling, who failed in a comeback bid last year after serving just one term in the House, went on local radio to chide Kirk for his vote, and further claimed that there are “five or six” candidates out there considering a primary challenge to him. We already know one of them (blowhard ex-Rep. Joe Walsh); another, said, Schilling, might be himself. Is it just hot air? Probably, but Schilling followed up by penning an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune that took Kirk to task over Planned Parenthood at length.
It goes without saying that Democrats would love to see Kirk get bloodied in a primary, but we already enjoyed a bit of excitement when Walsh started shooting his mouth off months ago. So now, let’s just wait and see if Schilling (or some other dreamer) actually pulls the trigger. Talk is easy. Running against an incumbent is hard.
• FL-Sen: It’s a bit of a good news/bad news day for Rep. David Jolly, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Florida’s open Senate seat. Jolly scored the endorsement of fellow Rep. Dennis Ross, but a local blog also dredged up the fact that he donated over $2,100 to former Rep. Allyson Schwartz back in 2011—the same Allyson Schwartz who ran for governor of Pennsylvania last year and was for many years the executive director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia.
Jolly, who was a lobbyist before he was a congressman (in a reverse of the usual route), got a lot of crap for these kinds of contribution when he ran in the special election after Florida’s 13th District became vacant last year following the death of Rep. Bill Young. The Schwartz donation was known even then, but Jolly didn’t face much in the way of primary opposition when he sought Young’s seat. But Planned Parenthood, of course, wasn’t in the news in the same way, and this time, Jolly will face much more aggressive opponents.
• PA-Sen: Katie McGinty served in Ed Rendell’s cabinet back when he was governor in the aughts, so it’s no surprise that he just endorsed her Senate bid. McGinty is facing ex-Rep. Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary…