Illinois’s Tammy Duckworth has become the first Thai American woman in the Senate, a fact that is especially notable after Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, the incumbent, made national headlines when he mocked Duckworth’s Asian heritage during a debate in October.
Congratulations were immediate on Twitter:
First Dem Senate pickup: Tammy Duckworth ousts Mark Kirk in Illinois.
- Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 9, 2016
– born in Thailand
– double-amputee Iraq war vet
– U.S. Senator#ElectionNight
- Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) November 9, 2016
- Hannah Chong (@xhannahtea) November 9, 2016
Duckworth also made history in 2014 when she became the first female veteran and the first Asian American woman Illinois elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 2016 election, she received endorsements from President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Duckworth, who lost both her legs in the Iraq War, blasted Donald Trump for joking that he was given a Purple Heart.
On Tuesday night, Planned Parenthood expressed its support for Duckworth. In a statement, Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards said, "Congratulations to Tammy Duckworth on her victory. Tammy Duckworth is a strong advocate for expanding access to reproductive health care and we look forward to working with her in the Senate. Tonight, we celebrate Tammy Duckworth’s victory. And tomorrow, we get to work on fighting to confirm a Supreme Court justice, fighting for equal pay, and protecting our access to reproductive health care."
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