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Duckworth defeats Walsh in 8th; Kinzinger wins 16th

Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth won a commanding victory over incumbent, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh in Illinois 8th Congressional District, and Republican Adam Kinzinger easily defeated his challenger in the new 16th District.

With about 70 percent of precincts reporting, Duckworth garnered 114,834 votes to Walsh’s 94,611. Walsh is a tea party-backed Republican from McHenry. Duckworth told supporters Tuesday night at a rally that she will bring “a new attitude to Washington.”

Duckworth said she spoke to Walsh and he was gracious and offered to help her establish her office in Washington. She told supporters she looks forward to being their congresswoman.

Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran who left her job in the Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs to run for Congress.

The race was one of the most closely watched nationwide. Both parties identified it as high priority.

The 8th District used to cover portions of McHenry County, but after redistricting, no part of the county will be in the district.

In Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, Kinzinger defeated Democratic challenger Wanda Rohl.

With about 62 percent of precincts reporting, Kinzinger garnered 109,596 votes, or 61.3 percent; Rohl collected 69,161 votes, according to unofficial totals. Kinzinger, of Channahon, said it was his district’s desire to see a smaller federal government that led to his victory in the 16th District.

“The district really wants to get jobs back, to get spending under control, and explore our domestic resources,” said Kinzinger, who is currently a congressman in Illinois’ 11th District. Kinzinger said he saw a lot of Democrats come out to support his candidacy.

Kinzinger, a pilot in the Air National Guard, survived a tough primary in March against fellow Republican incumbent, Rep. Don Manzullo of Rockford. Kinzinger and Manzullo were forced to compete after state Democrats redrew the congressional district boundaries to their advantage in 2011. While portions of McHenry County had been a large part of the 16th District for more than a decade, it no longer is in the new district.

In Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, first-term Republican Congressman Bob Dold conceded his northeastern Illinois congressional seat to Democratic challenger Brad Schneider.

Rep. Bobby Schilling, a pizzeria owner, lost to former health care executive Cheri Bustos, and fellow first-term Rep. Robert Dold fell to Brad Schneider.

In southern Illinois, former National Guard chief Bill Enyart kept a seat vacated by retiring Rep. Jerry Costello in Democratic hands.

Republicans did score one victory in a close congressional race as Rep. Rodney Davis held onto his seat against Democrat David Gill in eastern Illinois.

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