Tammy Duckworth, other Dems celebrate victory; Duckworth thanks 8th District voters

November 7, 2012 9:39:58 AM PST
Tammy Duckworth is among a group of Democrats celebrating wins in key congressional races in the Chicago area. In a hard-fought 8th District contest, Duckworth defeated Joe Walsh.

She thanked voters in Schaumburg at the Metra station Wednesday.

""You always have to say thank you, and I wanted to make sure I was out here to say hello to everyone getting up early in the morning to go to work and let them know I'm ready to go to work, too," she said.

The race was one of the most hotly contested, most expensive and close-watched congressional contests in the nation, and the negative ads were flying.

"They were horrible, and they are why we do not need super PACs in politics. I have opposed to them on both sides. They all need to go. They drown out the voices of the individual person, the individual voter and that's the most important voice," Duckworth said.

Duckworth said grassroots efforts added to the benefit of redistricting to help her win.

"If it was just redistricting, we wouldn't be here because we were outspent by 3-1. We made up for it and won this race with all the volunteers who came in every day after work on weekends, nights and just worked really, really hard to get us across the finish line," she said.

In Joe Walsh's concession speech Tuesday, he was emotional talking about how he feels he has lost a huge battle in his life.

"I got to be honest, I'm afraid. I'm worried for the country," Walsh said. "I'm going to fight back."

Duckworth said Walsh was gracious in a phone call Tuesday and that he offered to let his office work with hers.

" That's what we need, more bipartisanship and people willing to work with each other," Duckworth said.

Redistricting appears to have played a role in some other races. In the 10th district, another incumbent went down in defeat. Democrat Brad Schneider won over Republican Bob Dold. Also, Democrat Bill Foster is returning to Congress for the 11 District. He defeated longtime Republican Congresswoman Judy Biggert.

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. also won re-election easily in the 2nd District, despite his health problems and the fact that he has not been seen publicly in months.


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