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Ill Senate Hopeful Not Gay

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Mark Kirk (pictured), the Illinois congressman considered the likely Republican nominee for the state's open U.S. Senate seat this year, Thursday rebutted an opponent's assertion that he's gay.

Kirk said simply, "No, it's not true," during a speech in Chicago, the local NBC affiliate reports. Andy Martin, who is challenging him in the Republican primary, had aired a radio ad last week saying there is a "solid rumor that Mark Kirk is a homosexual" and that Kirk is part of the "Republican Party homosexual club." Martin cited as a source Chicago conservative radio host Jack Roeser.

Martin is considered a fringe candidate. Among other things, he has endorsed the idea that President Obama is a Muslim, and he has demanded that Obama produce his birth certificate. He also has a history of anti-Semitic remarks and incendiary comments about both Republican and Democratic officials, and he has sought office as a member of both parties. He was protesting Thursday outside Kirk's appearance at the Union League Club, where the congressman was primarily discussing his recent service with the Naval Reserve in Afghanistan.

The Senate seat both men are seeking is the one formerly held by Obama. Roland Burris, the Democrat appointed to serve the remainder of Obama's Senate term, is not running for the seat. Announced Democratic candidates include Illinois treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Urban League head Cheryle Jackson, and Chicago inspector general David Hoffman.

Kirk is a moderate Republican representing a House district in the northern suburbs of Chicago. His voting record on gay issues in the 110th Congress, 2007-2008, received a score of 85 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.