Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, is running for US Congress in Illinois' 8th District. Throughout her campaign, Duckworth has focused on job creation, investing in education, and a woman's right to choose.
Prospects and Opponent:Duckworth is running for a swing seat against Tea Party backed Republican incumbent Congressman Joe Walsh. Although Walsh is narrowly out-fundraising Duckworth, the recent redistricting could help Duckworth win in the November election. The district leans Democratic and Walsh won with only 49% of the vote in 2010. Winning the primary election in March has also given Duckworth's campaign a boost.
Background and Major Achievements: Duckworth graduated from the University of Hawaii and has an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University. During her time as a major in the Illinois Army National Guard, Duckworth piloted a Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq and was one of the first women to fly combat. On a combat mission, her helicopter was hit by an RPG, and Duckworth lost both legs and the use of one arm. She was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries. Duckworth became Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs, and in 2009 President Obama appointed her to the position of Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Administration. During her time in public service, she:
- Created a Jobs Plan, which includes investment in infrastructure and job training.
- Fought for the expansion of veteran health programs in Illinois.
- Created a tax credit for Illinois businesses who hire OEF/OIF/Desert Storm Veterans.
Other Endorsements: EMILY's List, WCF