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State Sen. Cullerton launches bid for Duckworth House seat

State Sen. Tom Cullerton announced Monday that he is seeking the 8th Congressional District House seat now held by Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who is giving it up for a Senate run. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, made it official on Monday, announcing his bid for the 8th Congressional District House seat now held by Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who is giving it up for a Senate run.

This sets up a Democratic primary in the northwest suburban district, with Cullerton facing Raja Krishnamoorthi, who has been running for several months, and possibly State Sen. Mike Noland, D-Elgin, who also has been exploring a House bid.

“Congress is a millionaires club. I want to change that by bringing my blue-collar work ethic and common sense solutions to Congress. I know what it is like to wake up, punch a time clock and put in an honest day’s work,” Cullerton said in a statement. “I believe everyone deserves a good job that allows them to get up each day and put in a hard day’s work. I believe that if you work hard every day, you deserve a good wage that provides for your family and the ability to retire with dignity.”

Cullerton, 45, is a former president of the village of Villa Park. He joined the state Senate in 2013 and has spent the last several weeks exploring a House contest.

A member of a well-known political clan, Cullerton is the third cousin once removed to Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.

Meanwhile, Krishnamoorthi, 41, a Schaumburg resident, last week unveiled several endorsements, from Democratic Illinois Reps. Danny Davis and Dan Lipinski; state Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge; Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas; Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., and Beth Marcin, president of the Greater Palatine Area Democrats.

“These members of Congress know what it takes to serve on Capitol Hill, and I am honored to have their support,” Krishnamoorthi said in a statement.

Krishnamoorthi lost a 2012 Democratic primary bid to Duckworth, who is stepping down to run for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. He is the president of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar Inc.