Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth told the Chicago Sun-Times she is considering a second run for Congress, torn this Memorial Day weekend over whether she can do more good for vets in her current post or in the House.
Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war vet, is weighing a rematch with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) in the west suburban 6th District after a narrow loss to him in 2006.
"I am wrestling with it on a daily basis," she said when we talked Sunday. ***
She said she is uncertain about running again because as the top state veterans official, "I am actually making things happen."In six months, Duckworth has helped develop state programs giving tax credits to employers who hire vets who served in Iraq, Afghanistan or Desert Storm, more state grants to service organizations, and backing for below-market mortgages for veterans. ***
In 2008, Duckworth's turnout could be boosted by powerful coattails: Sen. Dick Durbin, who first persuaded Duckworth to run, will be leading the state ballot, and White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama will either be the presidential or vice presidential nominee or campaigning on behalf of the national ticket. ***
One of her advisers, Bill Brandt, who raised money for Duckworth, said the "real issue" is for Duckworth to determine the "best way to deal with this avalanche of injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan."
Michael in Chicago gave his two cents at PrairieStateBlue:
I feel it would be a pretty poor move politically if she didn't strike out for the seat now. Roskam isn't going to get any weaker. And there is no more Cegelis and her campaign of ignorant misfits (like myself) to stand in her way. If she's got a chance, 2008 represents her best shot.And in 2008, she probably represents the Dems best shot.