President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s bid for U.S. Senate Wednesday, lauding her work with veterans.
“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.”
Duckworth, a combat veteran who lost her legs co-piloting a helicopter in Iraq, held high-ranking positions in the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs before entering politics.
“Tammy Duckworth is already a champion for her fellow veterans,” Obama added. “And in the United States Senate, Tammy Duckworth will continue to be a champion for her fellow working families from Illinois.”
Biden echoed Obama’s sentiments in his endorsement of Duckworth’s campaign.
“When her nation calls, Tammy Duckworth answers, and I’m proud to support her in this next mission: running for the U.S. Senate,” Biden said. “Tammy is a fighter, and I know she’ll bring that attitude to bear on behalf of Illinois working families.”
Aside from her work with veterans, both Obama and Biden also lauded Duckworth’s advocacy for working families and her efforts to make college education more affordable.
“As this campaign continues, I will be proud to stand alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden and will strive to build on their legacy of fighting to strengthen the middle class and working to build an economy that provides opportunity for all, not just those at the top,” Duckworth said in a statement
She also expressed gratitude towards Obama for including her in his administration and giving her an opportunity in the VA.
She will face incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk in the Nov. 8 general election.
The Kirk campaign has repeatedly hammered Duckworth on a workplace retaliation lawsuit stemming from her time at the Illinois VA. Kirk's camp has also worked with a separate pair of whistleblowers who have accused Duckworth of not responding to claims of veteran mistreatment and corruption at the Illinois VA.
Duckworth was appointed to her role as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs by incarcerated former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2006.