Zopp will run in Senate primary against Duckworth

Updated 5/15/2015 6:45 PM

Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp will run for U.S. Senate in 2016, a spokesman said, setting up a primary race for the Democratic nomination with U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates.

Spokesman Roderick Hawkins said Zopp is "definitely running" and is working on putting together a staff for the race.


Zopp and Duckworth will be trying to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park, who will seek a second term in 2016.

Kirk starting airing a TV ad this week highlighting his recovery from a stroke. Duckworth announced her candidacy last month by focusing on her service in Iraq.

Zopp's bid would add an African American candidate to the Democratic primary ballot to compete for a seat once held by President Barack Obama.

Hawkins said an official announcement will come soon.

Republicans seized on the news Zopp might run as a way to attack Duckworth.

"The inability to clear her path in the U.S. Senate primary demonstrates a massive failure by her Washington friends," Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Nick Klitzing said in a statement.

Conservative talk show host and former congressman Joe Walsh has said he's considering a Republican primary run.

A Duckworth spokesman declined to comment.

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