My home address is in Illinois; as in every state, it is represented in Congress. Senators for the 8th Congressional District are Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth; the district’s representative, or congressman, is Raja Krishnamoorthi (LeRoy, 2017). All of them are experienced politicians who carry out important activities for improving the lives of people in Illinois. The purpose of this paper is to describe Durbin’s, Duckworth’s, and Krishinamoorthi’s positions as well as to analyze several aspects of their personal life.
Raja Krishnamoorthi’s birthplace is New Delhi, India; soon after he was born, the family moved to the state of New York where Krishnamoorthi’s father continued education. The Krishnamoortis had financial difficulties until they moved to Illinois where Raja’s father became a university professor (Casey & Gracey, 2018). Raja was successful in studying and was chosen as a valedictorian; after graduating from school, the man selected engineering as his major which he studied at Princeton University (Casey & Gracey, 2018). Then, he attended Harvard Law School and after receiving a master’s degree, started a legal career by serving as a law clerk (Casey & Gracey, 2018). Later, Krishnamoorthi was occupied with anti-corruption campaigns as well as with business activities.
Speaking about his electoral career, at first, the politician lost to Tammy Duckworth. It happened in 2012 when the man run for the position of Democratic representative (Casey & Gracey, 2018). In 2016, the politician declared his candidacy one more time and won with 57% of the votes (Casey & Gracey, 2018). Political issues that Krishnamoorthi is concerned with are job training and green technologies (Casey & Gracey, 2018). Politician tries to improve the life of the middle-class and ensure that hardworking people receive high salaries. Besides, Krishnamoorthi promotes the ideas of environmental protection and technologies that can reduce the harm done to the planet by humans. As for his personal life, the man is married to a doctor named Priya and has three children (Casey & Gracey, 2018). Thus, Krishnamoorthi leads important activities that will help to improve the life of Illinois people.
Tammy Duckworth was born in Bangkok; her father Frank was a former marine who made a career as a diplomat. Due to her Thai mother named Lamai, the politician speaks the language fluently (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). In 1985, Duckworth graduated from President McKinley School in Honolulu; four years later, the woman received a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Hawaii (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). Then, she completed a master’s course at George Washington University (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). After graduation, Duckworth planned to start a diplomatic career but enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Corps to learn more about the life of the military. In 2003, within the preparation for her doctorate at the University of Northern Illinois, Tammy Duckworth joined the Illinois National Guard and was sent to Iraq (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). As a part of a helicopter crew, the politician took part in the battle for Fallujah during which the machine was shot down and Duckworth lost both legs as a result of serious injuries. In 2004, she was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Air Medal, and the US Army Acknowledgment Medal (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). Thus, despite the hardships, Tammy Duckworth managed to stay positive and active.
After the trauma, Duckworth attempted to go back to an unsuccessful political career; thus, she worked for veteran affairs organizations. In 2012, Tammy became a delegate to the national convention of the Democratic Party and was elected to the US House of Representatives; she took office on January 3, 2013 (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). During the last election, she received 56% of the votes and beat Republican Kaifesh (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). Policy issues areas that interest Duckworth most is gun laws and abortion rights which have a great influence on her views. As for her personal life, the politician has been married to National Guard Major Bryan Bowlsbey since 1993 and has two daughters, Abigail and Malie (Suttmann-Lea, 2016). Thus, Tammy Duckworth has achieved success both in her career and family life.
Richard Durbin interests me the most because he is a devoted democrat and promotes the appropriate principles. The politician was born in East St. Louis, Illinois; his father was William Durbin, an Irish-American (Tobias, 2019). Anna Kutkin, the mother of the politician, was a Jewish-born person from Lithuania. Richard “Dick” Durbin graduated from high school in East St. Louis in 1962 (Tobias, 2019). From an early age, he worked at a factory; Dick’s occupation was packaging meat products. Later, the man received a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University’s Foreign Service School. During his fourth year of studies, Richard was an intern with Senator Paul Douglas. Durbin received his doctorate in law (J.D.) from Georgetown University Law School in 1969 and was admitted to the Illinois Bar Association (Tobias, 2019). Thus, it might be stated that Richard Durbin is educated and experienced in the field of law.
After graduating from law school, Durbin began a legal career in Springfield, Illinois. He was the legal adviser to Vice Governor Paul Simon in 1969-1972 and the Legal Committee of the Illinois Senate in 1972-1982 (Tobias, 2019). Durbin ran unsuccessfully for the Senate of Illinois in 1976 and the post of vice-governor of the state in 1978 with Michael Bakalis (Tobias, 2019). They were defeated by the incumbent Republicans, Jim Thomson and Dave O’Neill (Tobias, 2019). After that, Richard worked as an assistant professor at the University of Southern Illinois, School of Medicine, and continued his legal career.
Later, Durbin won the Democratic nomination for the seat of representative. He made a big noise by winning incumbent Republican Paul Findlay who served in the House of Representatives for 22 years (Tobias, 2019). Due to the process of allocating 435 seats of the House of Representatives between states, Illinois lost seats, and counties changed their borders accordingly (Tobias, 2019). This led to the fact that in the district that Findley represented, there were more Democrats than Republicans. In this campaign, Durbin emphasized the unemployment and financial difficulties that farmers face. He also pressed the point that his election to the House would be a signal to Washington and President Reagan about the malfunctioning of the economic strategies implemented. Durbin received donations from many pro-Israeli organizations across America; in total, the man then $ 417,635 a year before the election (Tobias, 2019). He was re-elected 6 times, with virtually no opposition and more than 55% of voters at the last election (Tobias, 2019). Hence, it might be stated that Durbin has become popular among people.
However, there is a version that Durbin’s professional success is connected to the anti-Semitic views of Paul Findley. In the early 1980s, the politician dared to criticize the Jewish lobby of the United States and its destructive influence on the politics of his country (Tobias, 2019). Subsequently, Findley wrote a book on this topic and was declared anti-Semitic. Thus, the man became an undesired person in the US House of Representatives. At the same time, Dick Durbin who has strong ties with various Jewish lobbying organizations and Jewish origin took Findley’s place.
Richard Durbin’s good friend Paul Simon, a person of Jewish descent, was a US Senator. In 1996, he decided not to run for re-election; thus, Durbin tried to take this position (Tobias, 2019). The man won the primaries of the Democratic Party and became its nominee in the main elections, in which he defeated a member of the Illinois House of Representatives with a 15% difference (Tobias, 2019). Since then, Durbin was re-elected three times; the difference between the number of votes for him and those for his republican opponents has always been significant (Tobias, 2019). The reason is that the person described belongs to most liberal members of Congress. He is mostly interested in policy issues in areas of the rights of the Jewish people and the promotion of democracy. This is reflected in Durbin’s political views that coincide with the position of the party (Tobias, 2019). His job is to ensure that all Democrats vote in the party; as a lawyer, the man has excellent discussion skills for which the politician is regarded as the best Senate debater.
Speaking about Senator Durbin’s private life, he has a family. The man is married to a woman named Loretta and is the father to two children, Paul and Jennifer (Tobias, 2019). The couple’s third child Christine died in hospital due to complications after heart disease (Tobias, 2019). The Durbins’ residence is located in Springfield; however, during sessions of the Congress, they live in Washington, DC, in a rented apartment (Tobias, 2019). Thus, even though the politician has a high income, it might be stated that Durbin’s private life is like one of many which increase voters’ trust for him.
Casey, K. L., & Gracey, J. L. (2018). Broken, cracked, and missed ceilings: Female and minority candidates in the congressional races of 2016. In The Roads to Congress 2016 (pp. 57-73). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
LeRoy, M. H. (2017). Open for business: Illinois courts and party politics. U. Pa. JL & Pub. Aff., 2, 185.
Suttmann-Lea, M. (2016). In Illinois, Tammy Duckworth’s better funded campaign puts Mark Kirk’s Senate seat in a precarious position. USApp–American Politics and Policy Blog.
Tobias, C. (2019). Filling the Illinois Federal District Court Vacancies. Pepp. L. Rev., 47, 115.