PI Original Adam Doster Tuesday March 24th, 2009, 2:16pm

Roll Call: Seals To Run If Kirk Bolts

As we've repeatedly noted, GOP Rep. Mark Kirk seems to have set his sights on a U.S. Senate run.  If he ultimately takes the plunge, two-time Democratic challenger Dan Seals would be ready to go after his 10th District seat, according to an article today in Roll Call (...

As we've repeatedly noted, GOP Rep. Mark Kirk seems to have set his sights on a U.S. Senate run.  If he ultimately takes the plunge, two-time Democratic challenger Dan Seals would be ready to go after his 10th District seat, according to an article today in Roll Call (subscription required):

“I think it’s a huge opportunity to pick up,” Illinois Democratic consultant Eric Adelstein said. “To his credit, [Kirk has] proven he’s pretty hard to beat.”

[Illinois Democratic consultant Eric] Adelstein said several Democrats will be interested in an open seat. The 2006 and 2008 Democratic nominee against Kirk, attorney Dan Seals, would likely run again if Kirk leaves, his former campaign manager Patrick Mogge confirmed.

“No one knows the 10th district better than Dan Seals,” Mogge said. “I know he’s interested in running again if it’s an open seat.”

While Adelstein predicts that Seals would clear the Democratic field, the article also mentions State Sens. Michael Bond and Susan Garrett as possible candidates should Kirk vacate the seat. On the Republican side, seven-term State Rep. Beth Coulson would reportedly consider running, even after narrowly surviving an intense re-election campaign in 2008. State Sens. Matt Murphy and Dan Duffy are rumored to be interested as well, but both might be too conservative for a district trending Democratic, according to John Russell, a onetime staffer to former Speaker Dennis Hastert. “Unless there is a Kirk or John Porter clone waiting in the wings with the ability to raise significant dollars," Russell told Roll Call, "the seat could belong to a moderate Democrat for the foreseeable future."

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