Rep. Tammy Duckworth and Sen. Mark Kirk used their name recognition and lengthy lists of endorsements to secure their respective parties' nominations in Tuesday's Illinois primary for Kirk’s U.S. Senate seat.
Duckworth defeated Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris in her bid for the nomination. Kirk beat James Marter, a political newcomer with 30 years of business experience.
Duckworth and Kirk maintained commanding leads over their primary opponents and already started campaigning against one another in preparation for the Nov. 8 general election.
Incumbent Kirk is a combat veteran considered to be a social moderate and fiscal conservative. He has voted with his party 73 percent during his time in Senate. He has held the office since 2010.
Since being elected to the Senate, Kirk has made the fight against terrorism a top priority. Recently, the senator called for a temporary cessation to the program bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S.
Duckworth has served as a U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 8th congressional district since 2013.
"The choice for Illinois voters is clear," Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement. "Mark Kirk has a record of fighting for all Illinois families to change the broken status quo in Washington, while Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has been an ineffective ideologue who has chosen partisan division over bipartisan consensus."
Duckworth, a combat veteran who lost her legs co-piloting a helicopter in Iraq, previously served in the state and national VA. She has campaigned on a platform advocating for small businesses, investing in infrastructure and cutting government waste and fraud.
Kirk retired from the Navy Reserve in 2013 after 23 years of service. He has since called for reforms to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.