Salvi claims victory in crowded GOP primary race to face Tammy Duckworth

  • Kathy Salvi

    Kathy Salvi

  • Tammy Duckworth

    Tammy Duckworth

Updated 6/29/2022 11:40 PM

Mundelein attorney Kathy Salvi claimed victory Tuesday in the crowded GOP race to face Illinois incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth in November.

"Tonight, the people of Illinois have spoken resoundingly," she said. "They want a common-sense leader who will defend American families, restore American prosperity and protect the American dream for our children and grandchildren."


The Associated Press is reporting more than 73% of the votes counted, with Salvi carrying 30.4% of all votes tallied so far in the seven-candidate race.

Peggy Hubbard, a retired law enforcement officer from Belleville, is next with 24.6% of the counted vote.

The race also includes Matt Dubiel, a Naperville radio executive, with 12.7%; Casey Chlebek, a retired IT professional from Lake Forest, with 10.7%; Geneva investment manager Bobby Piton with 9.2%; Anthony Williams, a pastor from Dolton, with 7.3%; and Jimmy Lee Tillman, a Chicago author and publisher, with 5% of the preliminary vote tally.

Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat finishing up her first term, ran unopposed.

Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was awarded the Purple Heart after losing both legs when the helicopter she was piloting during the Iraq War was shot down by insurgents in 2004. She entered politics shortly after returning from war and held numerous elected and appointed posts before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Salvi is the wife of former state representative Al Salvi, who ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 and lost to current Illinois U.S. senior Sen. Dick Durbin.

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She has a sizable fundraising hill to climb ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

According to Federal Election Commission reports from earlier this month, Salvi has $73,869 in her campaign coffers compared to the more than $7.6 million Duckworth has. Salvi also reported loaning her campaign $250,000.

Salvi was one of the more moderate Republicans in the seven-candidate primary race. She has acknowledged the legitimacy of the Biden presidency and did not claim election fraud led to Biden's victory in 2020.

She blamed Democrats for the rise in inflation, supply chain issues that are leaving some items off store shelves and "skyrocketing" gasoline prices.

"As your future U.S. Senator, I will restore America's energy independence, reduce government spending and fight inflation, secure our southern border and make our communities safer, return integrity to our electoral process and put parents back in the driver's seat of their children's education," she said.

Duckworth, in turn, took aim at Republican policies in general.

"This November, voters will have a choice between continuing to make progress on the issues we care about while actually helping working families across our state, or supporting a Republican Party that only wants to drag our country backward and has no plan, much less any intention to actually help us address our nation's toughest crises," Duckworth said. "At a time when women's rights are under attack, we can't afford to send someone to the Senate who would work with other ultraconservatives to enact a nationwide abortion ban."

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