Durbin Endorses Duckworth in Senate Race | NBC Chicago
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Durbin Endorses Duckworth in Senate Race

The endorsement is not surprising, but it could have a negative impact on bipartisanship in Illinois

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    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin talks with then Illinois nominee for Congress Tammy Duckworth during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C.

    A major player has stepped into the corner for Rep. Tammy Duckworth in her bid for the Senate. 

    Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin announced Thursday in a fundraising memo to supporters that he is endorsing Duckworth in the race, according to Lynn Sweet in the Chicago Sun-Times. 

    "My friend Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is running to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate in an amazing journey from the battlefields of Iraq to the campaign battleground in Illinois,” Durbin said in the statement. 

    It's no surprise that Durbin is throwing his support behind Duckworth instead of Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, or even Andrea Zopp, the president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League who is running against Duckworth in the democratic primary. 

    Durbin and Duckworth have a history together. 

    In 2005, Durbin invited Iraq war veteran Duckworth to be his guest at the State of the Union address. She was still recovering from injuries after her helicopter was shot down in combat, but the senator was impressed with Duckworth's determination and encouraged her to run for Congress. 

    Durbin's endorsement is good news for Duckworth, but it could mean bad news for bipartisanship in Illinois. By choosing a democratic front runner instead of the incumbent Republican Sen. Kirk, Durbin could be sacrificing their good working relationship in a gamble to get another Democrat in the Senate. 

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