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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Illinois has Two lawmakers with Disabilities facing off in U.S. Senate race

In Illinois we have 2 candidates with Disabilities for the U.S Senate, Incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and U,S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). We will follow and update information, we will be posting information available, and we will be neutral in our reporting on the Illinois U.S. Senate election.
Jim at Ability Chicago Info.

U.S. Sen Mark Kirk
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)

as published by The Hill, By Jonathan Easley | March 30, 2015

The Illinois Senate race in 2016 could be the first to have two lawmakers with severe physical disabilities facing off.
Incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who is up for reelection in 2016, is still recovering from a massive stroke he suffered in early 2012.
He's facing a challenge from a disabled Iraq War veteran, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who launched her Senate bid on Monday and is the front-runner to win the Democratic primary.
Duckworth lost both her legs in Baghdad in 2004, when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was shot down.
Those physical disabilities have become integral parts of each candidate's biography and will likely play critical roles in their 2016 campaigns.
Kirk has introduced legislation to help stroke survivors and been one of the leading advocates for stroke research in the Senate. He has sought to highlight his recovery since he was first hospitalized in early 2012. 
He usually uses a wheelchair to get around Capitol Hill, and his speech is sometimes slurred. However, most of his motor skills have returned. He showcased his physical recovery in February, when he climbed to the top of the Hancock Center in downtown Chicago, one of the largest buildings in the country, as part of the “Hustle up the Hancock” charity event.

For Duckworth, the incident that took her legs shaped the image she promotes of a battle-hardened military veteran who can face down any challenge.

She was the first disabled female veteran elected to the House and recounted the story of the helicopter crash in a video announcing her Senate candidacy on Monday.

“In 2004, while flying a combat mission in Baghdad, an RPG tore through our cockpit, taking my legs and part of my arm with it,” Duckworth said. “The only reason I made it home was because of the heroism of my courageous buddies who risked their lives to save mine.
"I view my time now as a bonus, and that has allowed me to speak up without fear,” she added.
Duckworth and Kirk were both proponents of a United Nations treaty on International Disability Rights that the Senate has declined to ratify.

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