Tammy Duckworth Defeats Mark Kirk in U.S. Senate Race, NBC News Projects | NBC Chicago
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Tammy Duckworth Defeats Mark Kirk in U.S. Senate Race, NBC News Projects

Rep. Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Mark Kirk Tuesday in one of the nation’s most pivotal Senate races, NBC News projected.

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    Rep. Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Mark Kirk Tuesday in one of the nation’s most pivotal Senate races, NBC News projected. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016)

    Rep. Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Mark Kirk Tuesday in one of the nation’s most pivotal Senate races, NBC News projected. 

    In the lead up to Election Day, Duckworth held a strong advantage in the polls and a substantial fundraising edge over Kirk, who was widely considered the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for re-election.

    Duckworth has served as congresswoman representing Illinois’ 8th Congressional District since 2013. She beat out former Urban League president and CEO Andrea Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris in the March Democratic primary.

    The combat Army veteran, who lost both her legs co-piloting a helicopter in Iraq in 2004, settled a 2007 workplace retaliation lawsuit in June. A settlement agreement related to the suit, which stems from Duckworth’s time as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, has not been finalized.

    Over the course of the race, the Kirk campaign used Duckworth’s lawsuit and a separate set of allegations stemming from her time at the IDVA as their main line of attack.

    In an exclusive interview with NBC Chicago last week, Duckworth claimed she's unfazed by the attacks because "they're not true."

    "I know it's a political strategy to go after your opponents strengths," Duckworth said. "I'm proud of the work I did in Illinois."

    On her path to victory, Duckworth scored high-profile endorsements from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and a host of elected officials, including President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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