United in refusal to back Trump, Kasich stumps for Kirk

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Former presidential candidate John Kasich and Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk have not endorsed Donald Trump for president. (WLS)

Former presidential candidate John Kasich and Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk have not endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Kasich was in Chicago Thursday helping Kirk raise money for his campaign against Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

Kasich, the moderate Republican governor who shunned Trump in Cleveland, is campaigning for other moderate Republicans around the country.

After a tour of Chicago's 1871 technology business incubator, the Ohio governor praised Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, calling him a "unique" member of the highly partisan U.S. Senate.

"He is very much an independent voice. He doesn't take orders from anybody," Kasich said.

Kasich, who failed in his bid to win the Republican presidential nomination, and Kirk have not endorsed Trump's candidacy. Kirk appeared resigned to the fact that Trump is the party's nominee and will remain so until the election.

"I think that the governor and I both suffer from - forgive the humor here - a form of PTSD, Post Trump Trauma Disorder," Kirk said.

"Make sure you note that he said it and I didn't. I don't want to answer calls for the week," Kasich said.

Kirk issued his latest salvo against his Democratic challenger Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. The senator said when Duckworth led the Illinois Veterans Affairs Administration in 2007, the agency hired convicted felon Jesse Bell, who is now serving an Illinois state prison term for murder.

"We cannot have someone running for the Senate who picks people this questionable," Kirk said.

Kasich made an appeal to Illinois voters who plan to cast ballot against Donald trump to consider Mark Kirk.

"If you don't like the choice at the top it doesn't mean that you might not like the second choice," Kasich said.

The Duckworth campaign issued a statement on Kirk's that Duckworth was involved in the hiring of a convicted felon at a veteran's home. Spokesman Matt McGrath said director Duckworth was not involved in hiring Bell, writing: "Republican Mark Kirk lies so often it's hard to get too worked up every time he springs a new whopper, but this one is positively breathtaking."

Kasich will attend a Republican fundraiser Thursday evening for Illinois party candidates.
Related Topics:
politicsjohn kasichmark kirkdonald trumppolitics2016 electionChicago - Downtown
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