U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth clinches Senate seat


Sam Krevlin/The Daily Northwestern

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) looks on as Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) accepts victory in her race for the Senate against Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill). Duckworth won by a margin of 14 percent, Politico reported.

Sam Krevlin, Reporter

Tammy Duckworth promised to unify Illinois and work for those living in both Chicago and rural areas in her acceptance speech Tuesday night in the Loop.

Duckworth, who currently represents the 8th district in the House of Representatives, told the audience, “No matter who you voted for today, we are all in this together.”

During her speech, Duckworth spoke about Granite City, Ill., steelworkers who were laid off days before Thanksgiving last year. She said the government was never there to bail them out like they did the big banks in 2008. There are too many Illinoisans, Duckworth said, that have fled their communities because of lack of hope.

“Economic justice also means an education system that prepares our children for a fast-changing economy, and one that serves adults,” Duckworth said. “We shouldn’t be closing off opportunity to any American, whether they’re just starting out, or looking to change careers.”

Bryan Lee, a supporter at the event and a Weinberg sophomore at Northwestern, said Duckworth’s approach to appealing to rural voters will help Democrats in the long run. He said Donald Trump’s appeal to white high school educated people in rural areas is one of the reasons for his success.

“She is focusing not only on Chicago but also down state,” Lee said. “We have a lot of rural communities that are being neglected on basic services like being able to out and by groceries or have clean water at your schools and that costs us.”

In her acceptance speech, Duckworth thanked the veterans who saved her life in Iraq. Duckworth lost both her legs when her Black Hawk helicopter was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade. One of the veterans who helped her after the attack was in attendance Tuesday night. Duckworth said she strives to honor the veterans who gave her a second chance at life.

“I will work every day to make sure our Veterans are getting the best care, and receiving the benefits we promised them,” Duckworth said. “They did not hesitate to answer the call when America asked them to serve, so we should not make them wait now.”

Duckworth hopes to most past this gridlock and focus on the future generation of Americans.

“While there will be disagreements with my friends on the other side of the aisle — which is healthy — I pledge to start with the presumption that my colleagues, regardless of party, love this country as much as I do, and that we all want what’s best for our children,” Duckworth said.

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