Mark Kirk Still Quiet About 2010 Election Plans

07/16/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The man Illinois Republicans consider their best hope to win a senate seat or the governor's mansion is still not sure what office he'll run for in 2010.

At a press conference to announce legislation proposing stronger penalties for dealing potent marijuana, Kirk said he has been raising funds for a "big campaign" but declined to say which one, the AP reports:

Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is still deciding what office he wants to run for in next year's election.

Is it U.S. senator, governor or a sixth term in Congress?

Kirk wasn't saying Monday. But he said he's raising money for a "big campaign." He wants to assess next year's races before deciding.

The northern Illinois congressman said the state can do better than Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Roland Burris, both Democrats.

Neither Quinn nor Burris were elected to their posts. Quinn replaced ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Burris replaced President Barack Obama. Burris was appointed by Blagojevich before lawmakers removed him from office.

Newly divorced, Kirk is serving his fifth term in Congress from Illinois' 10th Congressional District.

Crain's Chicago Business
columnist Greg Hinz pressed Kirk to bypass the senate race and turn his attention to Springfield:

Sometimes in politics, you've got to play on the field where your game works best, even if it isn't the field you know best. If Mark Kirk wants to move up right now, his best play is for governor, not the Senate.

Kirk's unfamiliarity with Springfield-- and lack of culpability in creating its current mess-- are assets, Hinz argues.

In other 2010 election news, former Transportation Security Administration official Justin Oberman has declared his candidacy for lieutenant governor. Oberman briefly ran in the special election Democratic primary to replace Rahm Emanuel in Congress. He is the son of former 43rd Ward Alderman Marty Oberman.

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