The 53-year-old Kirk was left partially paralyzed on his left side by the stroke, causing him to use a four-pronged cane and occasionally a wheelchair for mobility. He has made trips back to his home state with increasing regularity since returning to Congress in January, evidence that he is taking a 2016 bid seriously. In contrast, South Dakota Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who suffered a stroke in 2006, announced he would not be seeking re-election this spring, ending a 28-year career in Congress.
Kirk made his first public appearance since returning to Congress in April, visiting the Metro East area and a Lake County charter school. He returned to the Chicago area over Memorial Day, and again over the fourth of July.
Along with his appearance at Republican Day Rally at the state fair on Thursday, Kirk will also host a job fair for veterans Wednesday with Peoria Republican Congressman Aaron Schock, one of the party’s rising stars.
Kirk attends therapy three days a week while in Washington and at home in Highland Park, Trover said.
The senator plans to stay in Chicago for the majority of the congressional August recess.