With the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate now a three-way race, one candidate welcomes the newcomer, while another questions his stance on same-sex marriage.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates) doesn't seem to have any issue with State Sen. Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) joining the primary battle.
"The more people in the Democratic primary talking about (U.S. Sen.) Mark Kirk has not done his job as a Senator is good for Illinois," Duckworth said.
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Former Chicago Urban League president Andrea Zopp also welcomes Harris to the race--noting he's entering rather late--but does bring up a policy disagreement with Harris: his "present" vote on the 2013 same-sex marriage legislation. Zopp says she actively supported the legislation, and says Harris's vote was more about staying safe politically than representing his district.
"I think 'present' isn't a vote," Zopp said. "If his constituency really said 'Look, we don't support this bill and we don't want you to support it,' then you should represent your constituency. My position is a 'present'...position doesn't move the needle one way or another. More importantly, he didn't support something that was..a critical issue of civil rights."
Harris didn't address his position on same-sex marriage during his campaign launch Tuesday. If he's opposed to it, and goes on to win the nomination, he'd be in the unusual situation of being an anti-same-sex marriage Democrat running against a pro-gay marriage Republican in Kirk, who was among the first Republicans in Congress to support marriage equality.