On July 20, 2009, Kirk announced his candidacy for the . Senate election for the seat held by Roland Burris , which had been held by Barack Obama before his election as president. On February 2, 2010, Kirk won the Republican primary with percent of the vote; no other candidate had as much as 20 percent.  He ran against Democratic nominee Alexi Giannoulias , Green Party nominee LeAlan Jones , and Libertarian nominee Mike Labno . During the Illinois . Senate election campaign in 2010, Kirk and Giannoulias were in a hotly contested debate. Kirk defeated Giannoulias in the election for the full six-year term, getting 48% to Giannoulias's 46%. During the campaign, Kirk said he had previously voted for emissions trading legislation "because it was in the narrow interests of my congressional district", but that as a representative of the entire state of Illinois, "I would vote no on that bill." 
Shortly, two more Vietnamese Hueys, laden with refugees and low on fuel, bore in on KIRK and landed on her flight deck, like the twelve others the day before. By now it was routine. But these refugees were quickly transferred to the larger ships nearby, and KIRK sped back to the coast to an almost-surreal sight: hundreds of boats of all sorts were swarming out from the beach, going as fast as their small engines would carry them. Many were precariously loaded to the gunwales with refugees. They gathered around each of the large American ships in the holding area, impatiently waiting their turn to offload their terrified refugees. fig9
There will be a large 40th reunion of participants in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon in April and May of 1975. Former Vietnamese refugees and U. S. Servicemen who took part are cordially invited to attend. The reunion will take place at the U. S. Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton, California (Camp Telega, on the Orange County line). Retired U. S. Navy Captain Ralph Ortolano is organizing an “Oral History Project” in conjunction with this reunion, collaborating with the Navy History Command and the Library of Congress, as well as local journalism schools. For more information, please contact Captain Ortolano at (310) 982-5499.