It was expected, and it's happening Monday.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will officially endorse Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary race. Kirk joins about 50 other members of Congress who already threw their support behind Romney.
Kirk told NBCChicago Monday morning the 11 a.m. announcement highlights the Illinois primary's new role in choosing a president.
"It's likely that the Republican nomination will last through April, and that means Illinois voters will now count because of their March 20 primary vote," he said.
Romney wasn't exactly a quick pick for Kirk. Still the senator said last month the field was getting down to the "Romney and the anti-Romney," listing all of the GOP darlings that have fallen by the wayside.
"The underlying story is the rise and rise of Mitt Romney," Kirk said.