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Outside help for Duckworth

 ·  Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune   ·   Link to Article

*Outside help for Duckworth: The progressive group VoteVets Action Fund is launching an ad that portends what a fall U.S. senate general election race could be like between Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth if she wins her party’s nomination in next month’s primary.

VoteVets — and its chairman, Jon Soltz — has long been a backer of Duckworth, supporting her appointment as an assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs and her subsequent election to Congress in 2012.

In an interview with Real Clear Politics last April, Soltz said he was personally invested in Duckworth’s career and vowed that his group was “going to play” in the election and “we like to play offense.”

In its ad, Michael Terranova, a Marine Corps vet and personal injury lawyer from Chicago, gives Duckworth’s military biography of flying a Blackhawk helicopter and being injured before criticizing Kirk, himself a former Naval reservist.

“Sen. Mark Kirk is attacking her, asking, ‘Who do you trust?’ ” Terranova asks in the ad. He then contends Kirk voted against funding for military equipment repairs and expanding veterans' benefits. “So, to answer your question, I trust Tammy Duckworth and it’s not even close,” he says.

The group cites a 2014 vote by Kirk against a $21 billion package that would have expanded veterans care. It also cites a 2003 vote that Kirk, then a House member, cast against an amendment allocating money for equipment repair and replacement.

The group said it is spending $600,000 statewide to run the ad. It can be found here

Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates, is vying for the Democratic Senate nomination on March 15 along with former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp and state Sen. Napoleon Harris, of Harvey. (Rick Pearson)