CHICAGO — President Barack Obama and Vice President Jose Biden are endorsing Tammy Duckworth in her campaign for U.S. Senate.
“I’m proud to support Tammy Duckworth for the seat I once held in the United States Senate,” Obama said in a statement. “Few people fight as passionately for our veterans as Tammy. Soon after I was first elected President, I asked her to join my administration and serve her fellow veterans at the VA. She served with purpose and distinction — service that continued when she ran for Congress and won. And I was proud to sign one of Tammy’s signature pieces of legislation — the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act — into law.”
Duckworth is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk for the Illinois Senate seat once held by the President.
On Thursday, the Kirk campaign released a poll showing the senator trailing Duckworth. According to the Sun Times, a poll of 600 likely voters found Duckworth was beating Kirk by 3 percent. However, 18 percent said they were still undecided.
Kirk leads Duckworth among Hispanic voters, but he is far behind among black voters. Kirk could attract independent voters by being the first Republican senator to meet with President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court.
Duckworth served in the Obama Administration as as assistant secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2009 until departing to run for Congress in 2011.