Major Opportunity: EL Alum Tammy Duckworth is "On the List"

By Beth Davidson on
July 25, 2011

Major Tammy L. Duckworth’s hard-fought 2006 battle for Illinois’ 6th District won admirers and inspired supporters around the country. While she narrowly lost to Republican Cong. Peter Roskam, the war heroine who lost both legs and part of one arm in Iraq left an indelible imprint on Illinois politics and in the hearts and minds of EMILY’s List members.

So you can imagine our jubilation when Tammy recently announced plans to run in the new, more Democratic 8th District redrawn during Illinois’ redistricting process. A new poll gives her a substantial lead over primary opponent Raja Krishnamoorthi, but the high-tech businessman -- who last year waged an unsuccessful bid for state comptroller -- has a number of blue-chip backers. All signs point to a bruising and expensive primary.

And while the new 8th District will be less favorable to incumbent Republican Joe Walsh (who defeated EMILY’s List candidate Cong. Melissa Bean in 2010), the congressman shows no signs of toning down his Tea Party rhetoric. Walsh, who accused President Obama of “lying,” said a government shutdown “might be a good thing” and said he would “absolutely” vote to end Big Oil subsidies -- instead doggedly voting to preserve them -- will be no shrinking violet, should he choose to seek re-election in 2012.

But Walsh would meet his match in Duckworth, a Purple Heart recipient and assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs who has spent the last six years spearheading first-in-the-nation programs for veterans’ health care, housing and employment. And now the amazing Tammy Duckworth is “On the List” for your early and strong support -- so let’s get to work and make sure she has the resources to win an early (March) primary, counter certain Tea Party opposition, and take her battle-tested leadership skills to Congress!

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