Sen. Mark Kirk touts stroke recovery in 1st ad of 2016 re-election bid

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CHICAGO — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is touting his recovery from a debilitating stroke in the first television ads of his 2016 re-election bid.

The Illinois Republican launched the ads Thursday in Chicago and the Champaign area.

The early ad buy — which his campaign says cost more than $320,000 — is a sign of how competitive the race is expected to be.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates has announced she’s challenging Kirk. Duckworth lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down over Iraq.

Democrats see the race in left-leaning Illinois as one of their best chances of picking up a seat as they try to regain control of the Senate.

In the ad, Kirk says he fought to return to Washington to represent veterans and Illinois families.

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