- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Rep. Tammy Duckworth denied Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois a second full term late Tuesday, providing Democrats a crucial pickup in their bid to retake the Senate.

Mrs. Duckworth, an Army veteran who lost both her legs in Iraq, had led Mr. Kirk throughout the campaign, often by double digits. Networks called it for the two-term House member shortly after polls closed.

Facing headwinds, Mr. Kirk had withdrawn his support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in June, after the mogul suggested an Indiana-born judge of Mexican heritage couldn’t be a fair referee in a civil case against him.

But he may have sealed his fate during an Oct. 27 debate, when he appeared to denigrate Mrs. Duckworth’s family history of military service by saying, “”I’d forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Mrs. Duckworth’s mother is a Thai immigrant, though her father’s line stretches to before the Revolutionary War.

Mr. Kirk apologized for the remark.

Mr. Kirk, a 57-year-old former Naval reservist, had served in the House for nearly a decade before winning concurrent elections in 2010 to finish the final weeks of the Senate term that Barack Obama vacated and to then serve a full, six-year term.

He was hampered by a stroke in January 2012 that sidelined him for a year, though he made a poignant return to the Senate with a walk up the Capitol steps.

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