Democratic Senate candidates Rep. Tammy Duckworth and Andrea Zopp have called on Sen. Mark Kirk to declare a stance on Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign.
Trump has come under fire as a result of his campaign platform, which includes the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico as well as a cessation to Muslim immigration to the country.
The Duckworth campaign issued a statement Thursday insinuating that Kirk’s silence on the matter serves as a tacit endorsement for Trump’s candidacy.
“Mark Kirk is refusing to tell Illinois voters whom he supports in the presidential primary and whether he would back Donald Trump in the general election,” McGrath said. “Illinois voters should take Kirk’s silence as a tacit endorsement of Donald Trump and his offensive platform.”
The Duckworth release called Trump and Kirk “two peas in the same pod” and accuses Kirk of having made “misogynistic, dismissive comments about women” in the past.
Zopp’s campaign called on Kirk to disavow Trump in his pursuit of the country’s highest political office.
“Donald Trump has proven himself to be a racist demagogue who has drawn support by manipulating our worst emotions,” Zopp said in a statement. “His campaign has been driven solely by hatred and fear.”
“Senator Kirk must make clear his views on Trump’s brand of Republicanism before Illinois goes to the polls on March 15th,” Zopp added.
Kirk’s campaign responded to these appeals, claiming he would not support any Republican candidate in the primary.
“Senator Kirk is not endorsing in the Republican primary, he is focused on his work in Illinois and his campaign for re-election,” Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement. “The GOP nomination is a long and fluid process right now and we are not going to try to decrypt a very hazy and cloudy crystal ball.”
Duckworth, Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris will face off in the March 15 Democratic primary.
Kirk will face Oswego businessman James Marter in the March 15 Republican primary.