- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says his guest for next week’s State of the Union will be the mayor of the tornado-damaged city of Washington in central Illinois.

Kirk said Wednesday that Mayor Gary Manier will attend Tuesday’s speech by President Barack Obama.

Manier says he’s excited to go and calls Kirk a “fierce advocate” for recovery efforts.

Seven people died and thousands of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed when tornadoes struck Illinois in November.

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