U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is making his first trip to central Illinois since his January 2012 stroke. Kirk's keynote appearance at Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday will be his first major political event since he revealed his intention to run for re-election in 2016. The Highland Park Republican was first elected to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat in 2010 and has been influential in reshaping the party's political strategy. Kirk's spokesman says the senator will not endorse anyone in the 2014 Republican primary. Along with his appearance at the State Fair, Kirk also will host a veterans' job fair in Peoria with Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock on Wednesday. Kirk attends therapy three days a week while in Washington and at home in Highland Park.
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