Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) says he will support President Obama’s attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.
Kirk first revealed his decision Thursday during an appearance at the City Club of Chicago, saying, according to a Chicago Sun Times’ report, that his conversation with Lynch about getting federal support to “crush” criminal gangs helped sway him.
“I am confident from my conversation with Loretta Lynch that she will be a valuable partner in confronting the gang violence that is robbing families of their children every day in Chicago,” Kirk added in a statement later Thursday afternoon.
“We need the help of the Attorney General to fight gangs of national significance through federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and to address organized crime like drug and child sex trafficking.”
With most Republicans voicing opposition to Lynch’s nomination, Kirk was one of the few GOP senators who had yet to lay a stake in what is expected to be a tight confirmation vote.
Wednesday embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) — who had been coy about whether he would vote for Lynch — told Politico he too would be voting for the nominee.
Menendez’s assertion that he will vote for Lynch when she comes to the floor brought the vote tally up to 50, with a tie breaker from Vice President Joe Biden, that would have be enough to confirm her. Kirk’s revelation provides a little more breathing room.
Obama nominated Lynch in November to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.