Following his resounding defeat by Democrat Tammy Duckworth Tuesday, Tea Party-affiliated U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is considering what his post-Congress life might entail.
In an interview with the Daily Herald published Wednesday, the congressman did not rule out a 2014 gubernatorial run as he suggested that "Democrats have ruined" the state of Illinois while weak Republican leadership has "allowed them to." He also left the door open to the interviewer's suggestion that he consider becoming a television pundit.
"People approach me every day and ask, 'Walsh, are you going to run for the governor? Are you going to run for Senate?'" Walsh told the newspaper. "I want to do my part to lead a movement to present a vision to this. I’d rather go down fighting."
Wednesday is, indeed, not the first time Walsh has been asked about his possible gubernatorial aspirations in Illinois. In July, the vocal congressman told conservative blog Illinois Review that his race against Duckworth was "the race of his life" and that, beyond that, "after everything I've been through, there's something going on. So wherever it takes me, it takes me somewhere."
Walsh lost to Duckworth Tuesday by nearly 10 percentage points in one of the nation's most closely watched congressional races. Nearly $6.6 million in outside spending was reported in Illinois' 8th congressional district contest, including $2.7 million worth of ads attacking Duckworth poured into the race by conservative super PACs in the race's final days.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a total of $7 million was spent by Walsh or on his behalf on Duckworth attack ads, meaning that each of his 99,922 votes cost about $70.
Walsh likely alienated many voters with his outspokenness, including his repeated attacks on Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee, for speaking "too much" about her military service. At one point, Walsh implied that his Democratic challenger wasn't a "true hero." At another point in his campaign, he screamed in the face of a female constituent at a town-hall event.
The Tea Party congressman also attracted national attention last month when he stated that he was opposed to abortion, including in circumstances when the life of the mother is at stake.
The last Republican elected as Illinois' governor, George Ryan, took office in 1999 and is currently serving a 6 1/2-year sentence on a 2006 corruption conviction at an Indiana prison. Ryan's Democratic successor, Rod Blagojevich, is also currently imprisoned on a corruption conviction.
WATCH: Walsh's Tuesday concession speech:
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
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