U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says a fundraising e-mail isn’t the same as him making an official endorsement in next year’s Senate race.Durbin sent out a fundraising request on behalf of the Senate bid of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), calling her “a friend” and “a champion,” but he says that’s not a formal endorsement. He says he’s helping with fundraising since the campaign is heating up earlier than he’d hoped.
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“The interesting thing about this Senate race is it’s starting so darn early,” Durbin said. “You know, the incumbent senator has started television ads. There’s discussion about primary opponents, and so that’s the reason the e-mail was sent.”
Durbin has said he will endorse and campaign for the Democratic nominee in the race. His fundraising e-mail mentioned how he encouraged Duckworth to run for Congress, but he dismisses the notion that he “discovered her.”
Despite promising to campaign against U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Durbin is avoiding saying anything negative against him for now. “He is my friend, and we are going to work together. We worked together even when he endorsed my opponent in the last election. We’re going to find ways to work together for the state,” Durbin said.