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Article updated: 1/9/2013 7:31 PM

Walsh to hold statewide meetings before announcing plans

By Kerry Lester

Former Congressman Joe Walsh said today that he plans to travel around Illinois for the next several months, holding meetings with voters before announcing his political future.

However, he once again hinted at an upcoming bid for statewide office.

"It's no secret. I certainly am looking at a potential statewide run," he said.

Walsh, of McHenry, who hosted more than 200 town hall meetings in his two-year term representing the 8th Congressional District, called a series of public meetings "the best way to do it. (To) get in front of people all over the state and see what can be started."

Less than 12 hours after his concession speech to Democrat Tammy Duckworth on Nov. 6, Walsh, a Tea Party firebrand who gained national recognition for his frequently caustic rhetoric, described a "dearth" of Republican leadership in the state.

He said then he was not ruling out a future bid for governor or U.S. Senate.

"There's a huge group of people that want to do something about the dire situation in the state," Walsh said today. "I want to create a sort of movement. Whether I work with that movement to run for office, I don't know yet."

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