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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Obama Lauds Duckworth's Service To Veterans Amid GOP Attack

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (L) and Tammy Duckworth
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President Barack Obama has officially endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth for Senate, saying “few people fight as passionately for our veterans.''

    

Obama says in a statement Wednesday that he asked Duckworth to serve in his Veterans Affairs department and that she ``served with purpose and distinction.''

Duckworth is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk. It's expected to be one of the most competitive races as Democrats try to retake control of the Senate.

Obama's comments come as Kirk has repeatedly attacked Duckworth. He says she failed to protect veterans after then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed her to lead Illinois' Department of Veterans Affairs.

Both Duckworth and Kirk are veterans. Duckworth lost both legs when her Army helicopter was shot down in Iraq. Kirk is a former Navy intelligence officer.

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