POLITICS

Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh Claims He's 'Seriously Considering' A Senate Run

02/17/2015 01:01 pm ET | Updated Feb 17, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) doesn't appear to be content with fading graciously into obscurity after failing to return to Congress for a second term.

Walsh told The Hill last week that he was "seriously considering" challenging Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) next year. He currently hosts a daily conservative radio show.

After coming to Congress in the 2010 tea party wave, Walsh found his niche as an outspoken advocate for conservative priorities. However, his bluster made him vulnerable, and in 2012 he lost to Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who is also weighing a 2016 challenge to Kirk.

After his defeat, Walsh floated his name as a potential challenger to Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and then-Gov. Pat Quinn (D), but he chose to stick with his radio show, in a move that could foreshadow his decision this time.

Kirk, who is one of Democrats' top targets in 2016, told The Hill that he isn’t worried about a Walsh challenge.

“Based on the polling, I’d say a Republican candidate would be very foolish to come up against me … that’d be a pretty stupid move,” he said.

Walsh's tenure on the radio has been characteristically controversial: Last year, he was kicked off the air because he used racial slurs while discussing Washington's football team.

He also tweeted that networks who chose not to run Charlie Hebdo's controversial cartoons after the Paris attacks on the magazine should be beheaded by the Islamic State militant group.

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