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Sen. Mark Kirk recovering from stroke

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a leader on pro-Israel and Iran sanctions issues, underwent surgery that was deemed successful after suffering a stroke.

A statement issued Monday from Kirk’s office said the Illinois Republican checked himself into a hospital on Saturday and that doctors discovered he had suffered a stroke.

"Early this morning the Senator underwent surgery to relieve swelling around his brain stemming from the stroke," the statement said. "The surgery was successful. Due to his young age, good health and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the Senator’s recovery over the weeks ahead."

Kirk, 52, who with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) helped craft the latest Iran sanctions, has strong Jewish and pro-Israel backing and is seen as a relative Republican moderate on social issues.

He was elected to the Senate last year to the seat vacated by Barack Obama when he won the presidency in 2008. Previously Kirk had represented the heavily Jewish 10th District comprising parts of Chicago and its northern suburbs.

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