CHICAGO (CBS) – Three suburban and downstate papers have endorsed Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate, while two others are split in their endorsements for governor.

The Bloomington Pantagraph, Belleville News Democrat and the Sun-Times Media Group-owned SouthtownStar endorsed the Republican Kirk over his rival — Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.

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All three cite his willingness to work with both Republicans and Democrats.

The Pantagraph touts the longtime Naval Reserve intelligence officer’s military experience. The newspaper says Kirk’s admitted embellishment of his military record is “troubling” but that he’s taken responsibility.

The Southtown Star endorsement includes praise for Kirk’s foreign policy perspective.

The Belleville News Democrat says Kirk will work to rein in government spending and eliminate waste.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has endorsed Democrat Pat Quinn for governor, while the Rockford Register Star has reluctantly endorsed Republican Bill Brady.

The Post-Dispatch praises Quinn having the “courage” to call for tax increases.

But the newspaper says neither Quinn nor Brady “offers the kind of strong leadership so desperately needed in Springfield.”

The Post-Dispatch notes that Quinn — who it calls “an accidental governor — lacks the political capital needed to stand up to the legislature’s Democratic leadership.

In endorsing Brady the Rockford Register Star says “this is not a ringing endorsement.” It calls the editorial board’s 5-4 vote a “contentious compromise.”

The endorsement takes both Brady and Quinn to task for not doing more to fix the state’s financial problems.

But it says Brady can best articulate a “pro-business point of view that may bring jobs back to the state.”

The newspaper also notes that Illinois has a history of successful legislation when Democrats control the General Assembly and a Republican resides in the governor’s mansion.

Concluding that Quinn had his chance, the paper calls on Brady to come up with solutions fast.

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