U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is heading back to Washington for a second term after 8th Congressional District voters elected her over Republican challenger Larry Kaifesh.
“I have been honored to serve the 8th Congressional District these past 2 years and I look forward to continuing to serve my neighbors as their representative in Washington,” Duckworth said in a statement announcing her win. “I am grateful to the people of the 8th District for their confidence in me. I would like to thank my volunteers, my staff and thanks especially to my family — my husband Bryan and my mom for their love and support. I would like to congratulate my opponent Larry Kaifesh on a hard fought campaign.”
Duckworth edged out Kaifesh throughout the evening Tuesday and unofficial election results show she had the strongest showing in Cook County where she had 56.87 percent of the vote over Kaifesh’s 43.13 percent with 184 of 194 precincts counted.
Kaifesh, a colonel in the U.S. Marines, ran his very first campaign against Duckworth, who had a larger war chest throughout the campaign. His campaign raised $315,000, he said Tuesday. Duckworth raised an estimated $2.4 million, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“I am proud of what I accomplished in my first term in Washington and the results tonight mean that I will return to keep working to move our nation forward,” Duckworth said. “Despite the gridlock, we advanced bipartisan legislation advocating for small businesses, Veterans & Service members and manufacturers. We were also able to stand together to promote infrastructure investment, protect vital safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security and bring home much needed flood assistance here to the 8th.”
“But there are still many things left to do — too many challenges facing our nation that are still unaddressed,” Duckworth said. “We need to work together to pass comprehensive immigration reform, raise the minimum wage and promote an education system that prepares our young people for the science and technology jobs of the future.
She asked people take a moment to remember service members who are in harm’s way and those who are recovering in military hospitals across the world.
“Thank you again to the voters of the 8th Congressional District and to all of you who have helped me on this journey. I am honored to serve you and look forward to working tirelessly for you in Washington and here at home.”
In Duckworth’s second campaign, she was able to focus longer on her work in the U.S. House and less time on the campaign. When she ran for the newly-redrawn 8th District in 2012 against Republican Joe Walsh, that race started 18 months before the election.