Democrats face off for nomination in US Senate race

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U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, Andrea Zopp and Napoleon Harris are facing offfor the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. (WLS)

With less than a week until the Illinois primary, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth has a big lead over her opponents Andrea Zopp and Napoleon Harris in the race to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.

With so much attention focused on presidential politics and the Cook County State's Attorney race, the Democratic race for Senate has not made as much noise. Poll numbers could be to blame. A recent Chicago Tribune survey shows Duckworth with over 70 percent of support.

She has a huge lead in the polls yet, as every politician likes to say, Duckworth is not taking the Democratic Senate race for granted.

"I get out there and travel the state, the only numbers that matter to me come out on Election Day," Duckworth said.

The two-term congresswoman from Hoffman Estates is helped by strong name recognition, even among African American voters. It's a challenge her opponents believe they can overcome by Election Day.

Zopp, a former prosecutor and Chicago school board member, says she is building on momentum she has received from recent newspaper endorsements.

"We are peaking now, we are building on that momentum, so I'm very excited about where it is at," Zopp said.

Harris, a former NFL linebacker and south suburban business owner, says don't count him out. He says the Michigan primary where Bernie Sanders pulled an upset over Hillary Clinton is proof that polls can be wrong.

"I can't see Tammy Duckworth getting 70 percent of the vote in Illinois, she hasn't even campaigned in Cook County," Harris said.

Both Harris and Zopp accuse Duckworth of not spending enough time campaigning throughout the state. Duckworth strongly disagrees. While the primary is days away, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk has already concluded his November opponent will be Duckworth. Kirk's campaign is focused on blaming Duckworth for ignoring whistleblower claims of abuse at the Hines VA hospital.

"He is certainly entitled to his opinions, but not the facts. The facts are I've been working on veteran issues dedicated my life to from the day I recovered at Walter Reed," Duckworth said.

Duckworth has also spent some of her primary campaign taking aim at Kirk. With Donald Trump's Chicago visit on Friday, Duckworth wants to know if Kirk will support Trump as the Republican nominee for president. Kirk has yet to answer.

Related Topics:
politicspoliticstammy duckworthmark kirkcampaignprimary election
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