Congressman Mark Kirk has been named by Politico.com as a "Stand-Out Centrist" for 2008, despite his opponent Dan Seals' desperate attempts to paint Kirk as a George Bush rubber stamp. Politico said of Kirk:
A military man and leader of the Republican Main Street Partnership, this congressman from the suburbs of Chicago has the unenviable task this year of running against a charismatic African-American challenger. But Kirk has shown the mettle to stand up to Bush and Tom DeLay and the vision to set out a “suburban agenda” that is “pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment and pro-science.”
Local news outlets like NBC-5 appear to have already picked this up. It should be noted that every major 10th District print media outlet in Chicago has resoundingly endorsed Kirk and rejected his opponent's futile attempts to paint Kirk as a Bush clone. In case you missed it, here's a print endorsement round-up:
Chicago Tribune: "We wish Seals were running in the 9th District, where he lives. But he's not. Instead, he's running against one of the most thoughtful, independent and effective members of the House. Kirk is a leader on environmental issues, including the protection of Lake Michigan."
"He's a workhorse on local concerns, known for having a diligent staff. Voters should look beyond partisanship and embrace their pragmatic, get-it-done congressman. Kirk is endorsed."
Chicago Sun-Times: "In his eight years in Congress, Kirk has made bipartisanship a priority, bringing a spirit of cooperation to a Congress in sore need of it. And despite what his opponent would have you believe, he is anything but a clone of President Bush."
"Mark Kirk is exactly what the 10th Congressional District, the State of Illinois, and our country needs in Congress: a congressman who is hard working, very knowledgeable, fiercely independent, dedicated to bipartisan action, and an effective contributor to resolving the nation's and his district's problems."
Daily Herald: "Republican incumbent Mark S. Kirk, 49, of Highland Park is an energetic representative who works to protect Lake Michigan..."
"Kirk is not the George Bush mouthpiece Seals would have us believe. He is, as we have stated before, one of the most independent members of Congress."
Lake County News-Sun: "Congressman Mark Kirk has been a good public servant with a solid record of achievement for Lake County. We believe he deserves another two-year term in Washington, D.C."
"This is the second matchup between Kirk and Seals and, frankly, we have heard nothing new from the challenger this go-round to sway us from backing the congressman for another term. The 10th District has a gem in Mark Kirk, and voters should keep him in Washington."
Pioneer Press: "...Kirk has represented his constituents well and should be re-elected."
"He was instrumental in securing increases in impact aid, the per pupil amount the federal government gives to school districts which educate children of military personnel."