HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—The Congressional contest in Illinois' redrawn 8th District has Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi facing off in Tuesday's primary. Both live in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates and both have spent much of the day visiting with supporters and making one final appeal.
"The centerpiece of this campaign is how do we tackle our economic crisis," Krishnamoorthi said today outside the Neil Armstrong School in Hoffman Estates. "So we've highlighted my experience as a small businessman. I"m the only candidate to have actually created jobs -- private sector employment in small business. That's the key to economic growth."
But Krishnamoorthi faces a formidable candidate and rising star in the Democratic Party. Tammy Duckworth, 43, is a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot severely wounded in Iraq. Duckworth says she, too, is focused on sparking economic growth and jobs for the sprawling district.
Tapped to use her experience by the Department of Veterans Affairs, both in Springfield and Washington D.C., Duckworth says she can use her national connections to help pass legislation that will benefit the people of the 8th District. With a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University, and as a doctoral candidate in political science at Northern Illinois University and in public health at Capella University, Duckworth says she brings focus and leadership to the district.
"Talking about my life's experience, either my service, both in government and in the military, but also just what I went through growing up -- the difficulties and my dad losing his job," Duckworth told WGN today.
The Democratic primary winner will face a well known candidate in his own right in November -- incumbent Republican Congressman Joe Walsh. Walsh is part of the freshmen GOP class, many of them supported by Tea Party Republicans.
As hot as this primary race has been, the contest in the fall is promising to draw national attention.