- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is endorsing Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth for the party’s nomination to oppose incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk next year.

In a fundraising letter to supporters, Durbin called Duckworth a friend who has made “an amazing journey from the battlefields of Iraq to the campaign battleground in Illinois.” He said for Duckworth to win the race, she is “going to need our full support.”

Duckworth announced in March her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Kirk. Last month, Chicago Urban League head and former federal prosecutor Andrea Zopp said she also would seek the nomination.

A spokesman for Kirk was critical of Durbin’s backing of Duckworth. Kevin Artl said by handpicking Kirk’s opponent, Durbin “abandons the bipartisan partnership that they have cultivated on behalf of Illinois.”

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