The race could potentially determine if there is a shift in the balance of power for the U.S. Senate

By Alexia Fernández
Updated November 08, 2016 09:44 PM
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty
Sen. Tammy Duckworth
| Credit: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both her legs in the Iraq war, unseated U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois.

According to ABC News, Duckworth was favored to win the Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama. The race could potentially determine if there is a shift in the balance of power for the U.S. Senate.

Duckworth is the daughter of a Thai-Chinese mother and a U.S. Marine father. Her father and his family had been in the United States for centuries — a point Duckworth brought up in her campaign to illustrate her family’s legacy of service and her decision-making on issues of defense.

“My family has served this nation in uniform, going back to the Revolution,” she said. “I’m a daughter of the American Revolution. I’ve bled for this nation. But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound. Because people are quick to sound the drums of war, and I want to be there to say this is what it costs, this is what you’re asking us to do … Families like mine are the ones that bleed first.”

Sen. Kirk came under fire in late October for mocking Duckworth’s mother during a debate.

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“I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” he said.

Duckworth ignored the insult after it was said, but after the debate responded by tweeting a photo of herself with her parents.

“My mom is an immigrant and my dad and his family have served this nation in uniform since the Revolution,” she wrote.

Duckworth lost both her legs when her helicopter went down in Iraq. She has said that veterans issues will form the basis of her legislative priorities in the Senate, according to ABC News.

The Kirk campaign offered no apology or clarification for the remarks in a statement to NBC News.