Tammy Duckworth, one of the dozens of women running for office this election cycle, is projected to win the Senate seat in Illinois, unseating Republican incumbent Mark Kirk with a double-digit lead, according to CNN. Duckworth’s victory gives Democrats their first “pickup” — the first of eight seats they’d need to reclaim the Senate.
Duckworth, who’s an Iraq War veteran with a Purple Heart, has served as a representative for Illinois’s 28th District since 2013, where she’s been a strong advocate for disability rights. She was projected to win her race, but Kirk all but clinched her win when he mocked her military history and her Thai heritage during a debate.
Duckworth was discussing the value of her experience in the military: “My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the revolution,” she said. “I am a daughter of the American Revolution. I’ve bled for this nation.”
“I’d forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” Kirk replied. He later released a statement defending the remark, but did not apologize.