- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Democrats are getting their day at the Illinois State Fair.

Top Democrats will rally Thursday for what is considered the unofficial kickoff of the 2016 election cycle.

Among those expected to take the stage are two potential nominees for U. S. Senate: Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and Andrea Zopp, a former federal prosecutor who also served as president of the Chicago Urban League.

Cook County Democrats on Tuesday opted not to endorse either candidate to challenge Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, setting up a March primary for the party’s nomination.

Democrats are expected to push back against rhetoric from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who ripped the Legislature’s majority party on Wednesday for creating a “mess” of Illinois during years of one-party rule.

Democrats say Rauner’s legislative agenda would hurt the middle class.

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