WASHINGTON — Sen. Tammy Duckworth kicks off her 2022 reelection Wednesday with a major virtual fundraiser featuring six high-profile Senate Democrats.
Duckworth, from Hoffman Estates, who turns 53 on Friday, launches her bid for a second term with no blue chip Illinois Republican actively mounting a campaign to challenge her. She caught national attention last year when she made President Joe Biden’s short list to be his vice presidential pick.
After serving two terms in the House from a suburban Chicago district, Duckworth in 2016 beat then-Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., flipping the Senate seat into the Democratic column.
There was never any doubt that Duckworth would run again, and she made it official in a Monday email to supporters.
In a Tuesday tweet, she wrote, “Folks, I am officially launching my re-election campaign for United States Senate in Illinois. We’ve made so much progress, but my work for Illinois families and Veterans isn’t finished.”
That tweet ended with a pitch to low-dollar donors. The Wednesday virtual event is aimed at major contributors, with the ask between $1,000 and $5,800.
Duckworth’s main political account had a Dec. 31 cash on hand balance of $2,673,948.87.
Headlining Duckworth’s launch fundraiser is Sen. Dick Durbin — her mentor who gave the wounded Iraq War vet her start in politics — plus 2020 Democratic presidential contenders Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The newly elected senator from Georgia, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, is also one of the draws.
On March 30, every top Illinois Democrat starting with Gov. J.B. Pritzker will headline a fundraiser for Duckworth. That includes the rest of the statewide elected Democratic office holders; Mayor Lori Lightfoot; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other county officials; the Illinois congressional Democrats; and state House and Senate Democrats. The contribution level for that event is between $50 and $2,900.
Duckworth, who served in the reserves for 23 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2014, is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and three other panels: Environment and Public Works; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Small Business.
Besides her policy and political work, Duckworth was in the headlines during her first term when she became the first senator to give birth while in office. Maile was born on April 9, 2018; Abigail on Nov. 18, 2014. Husband Bryan Bowlsbey works in the information technology field.