US Senate candidates in Illinois spar over heritage, service

Tammy Duckworth and Mark Kirk

Tammy Duckworth and Mark Kirk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has mocked Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s family history of military service in the U.S., implying that her Asian-American heritage should cast doubt on her claims.

The comment came Thursday evening during the first televised debate between the two at the University of Illinois in Springfield.

Duckworth spoke of how her family has “served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution.”

Kirk responded that he had “forgotten (that her) parents came all of the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Duckworth later tweeted a photo of herself with her parents, including her father in uniform and wearing medals. Her tweet says “My Mom is an immigrant and my dad and his family have served this nation in uniform since the Revolution.”