Sen. Tammy Duckworth wins reelection to U.S. Senate

By Robin Sluzas, Staff Reporter

Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth bested her Republican opponent, attorney Kathy Salvi, Tuesday night, winning a second term and leading by 14 points as of 10:15 a.m. Wednesday with 95% of precincts reporting. The race was called by the AP as the polls closed at 7 p.m.

After conceding to Duckworth, Salvi told a crowd of supporters: “I have just called Senator Duckworth to congratulate her on a hard-fought victory. While she and I differ on many issues, we share the view that we need to strengthen our economy, make communities safe and restore civility to our political system. It is my sincere hope that she will be a strong voice on behalf of all Illinoisans in the United States Senate over the next six years, and I wish her well.”

Duckworth was introduced to the elated crowd at the Adler Planetarium on Chicago’s lakefront by fellow U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

“She served the state of Illinois and our country with courage and distinction,” Durbin said. “And now with tonight’s vote, the people of Illinois have made it clear. Tammy Duckworth is still their hero, and she is going to be a strong voice in the United States Senate. I’m lucky enough to be able to call her my colleague.”

The two-term congressperson and retired U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel thanked her opponent Salvi and addressed the cheering crowd. 

“To all of Kathy’s supporters, please know that over this next term I’m going to work to lift up all Illinoisans, not just those who voted for me,” Duckworth said. “I’ll never stop fighting to better the state that we all love.”

Supporter and Chicagoan Diana Mudenda, a Duckworth canvasser, also felt the love, but for different reasons. 

“I feel like I can breathe, and I can exhale,” she said. “I really enjoy everything she stands for, and I am very aligned with her perspective, and the issues she is most passionate about, I am also passionate about.”

Fritz Kaegi, the Cook County assessor, was also in attendance and talked about Duckworth moving from her first term in the U.S. Senate to her second with a definitive victory and the fact that Illinois is one of the centers of the Democratic Party. 

“It’s so good to have someone of Tammy’s stature, experience and the special insight that she brings. We’re all real lucky here, and [that’s why] we’re celebrating here tonight,” Kaegi said.