Kirk considering runs for gov and Senate

Rep. links suburban deaths to Mexican drug trade; stands by comments on taxpayer anger
April 16, 2009 Tenth District Congresssman Mark Kirk says he'll decide by the end of the month whether he'll run for U.S. Senate or governor.

Kirk has expressed an interest in the Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Roland Burris. But he says he's also considering a run for governor because of the corruption that has tainted the state.

Kirk links suburban deaths to Mexican drug trade

Kirk says at least 31 people in suburban Chicago have died so far this year after overdosing on unusually strong heroin.

The Illinois Republican said Thursday that the deaths in Lake and Will counties are a dramatic increase from the 24 people who died of overdoses in 2008.

Kirk says officials have tracked the heroin to drug cartels in Mexico. Kirk says the heroin is linked to high-powered weapons that are going from the U.S. to Mexico.

Authorities have said some of the heroin appears to be so strong that people die before they can even pull out the needle.

Kirk stands by comments on taxpayer anger

Kirk is standing by his earlier comments that Illinois residents "are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes" as much as Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing.

Kirk says the many people facing unemployment don't need a tax increase. Quinn has proposed a graduated income tax increase to help fill an $11.5 billion deficit.

Kirk appeared in Chicago on Thursday to introduce legislation increasing funds to target illegal arms smuggling. The Republican also says an increase in suburban heroin overdose deaths is linked to the underground drug and arms trade with Mexico.

Kirk says he'll decide by early May whether to run for governor against Quinn.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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