Duckworth wins Dem primary for 8th District
By Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org March 20, 2012 9:40PM
Updated: April 22, 2012 8:08AM
In the battle of backstories that was the 8th Congressional District Democratic primary, Tammy Duckworth defeated Raja Krishnamoorthi. With 423 of 430 precincts reporting, Duckworth led 16,766 to 8.417.
At a rally held at the Holiday Inn in Elk Grove Village, Duckworth told her supporters, “The results are in. We are on our way to take on Joe Walsh.”
Incumbent Walsh, R-McHenry, was unopposed in the GOP primary.
Krishnamoorthi conceded before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Duckworth said he was “extremely gracious. I think we showed what a positive Democratic primary can be.”
Duckworth is a former assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs who lost her legs in 2004 in Iraq after the helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by an RPG. Her heavy-hitting backers included President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff and campaign manager David Axelrod and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Duckworth lost a bid for Congress in 2010. She was born in Thailand to a father in the U.S. military and mother of Chinese heritage.
A former Illinois deputy treasurer, Krishnamoorthi is the naturalized son of Indian immigrant parents and an Ivy League-educated mechanical engineer and lawyer who runs his own research and development lab.
The district is 12 percent Asian and 22 percent Hispanic.
Both candidates live in Hoffman Estates, both raised more than $1 million, and they echoed life stories during the campaign about having fathers who lost jobs and left their families to rely on public assistance for a time.
The campaign appeared to be a cordial one, with both vowing along the way to support the winner in the fall in a battle against tea party favorite Walsh.
With district maps redrawn last year, the 8th now covers parts of Cook, DuPage and Kane counties, including some of Elgin and not where Walsh lives.
But the rules don’t require a candidate to live in-district, and Walsh decided to compete for this seat rather than challenge fellow freshman Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren of Winfield who ran unopposed in the GOP primary for the 14th, which now covers parts of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.
In the Democratic primary for the 14th District, Dennis Anderson of Gurnee, the retired assistant director for research support at the Cardinal Bernadin Cancer Center at Loyola University, beat tech consultant Jonathan Farnick of Woodstock. With 398 of 405 precincts counted, Anderson led 7,515 to 2,655.
In the 6th Congressional District Democratic primary, with 559 of 560 precincts reporting, CPA Leslie Coolidge of Barrington Hills had 9,839 votes to 5.906 for retired businesswoman Maureen Yates of Barrington and 2,329 for Friends of the Fox River Executive Director Geoffrey Petzel of Lake Zurich.
In the general election, Coolidge will face incumbent Republican Peter Roskam of Wheaton, who faced no primary opponents. The newly formed district includes portions of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties.
With Sun-Times Media and AP wire reports.