In a YouTube video posted Monday morning, Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth officially announced that she is running for the United States Senate against incumbent GOP Senator Mark Kirk.
Tammy Duckworth launches Illinois Senate bid
"I'm running for the United States Senate in 2016 because it's time for Washington to be held accountable and put Illinois' families and communities first," Duckworth says in the two-minute video, which highlights her humble upbringing and her personal background as a wife, a mother and a combat veteran.
"If you elect me as Illinois' senator I will fight my heart out to represent you with honor and integrity."
Here's the announcement:
Hi I’m Tammy Duckworth.
I'd like to tell you a little about myself.
I'm the daughter of a Marine, a wife, a new mom and a combat veteran.
When I was in High School, my dad lost his job at 55 and struggled with unemployment.
The bottom fell out for us. For a time, food stamps kept my brother and me from going hungry.
Graduating from college was a challenge, but I made it with help of loans, Pell grants and lots of waitressing.
That's why I've always believed that if you don't give up on yourself -- our nation should never give up on you either.
Bryan and I met when we were both cadets in ROTC.
Later, I was given the opportunity to become a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and deployed to Iraq.
In 2004, while flying a combat mission near Bagdad, an RPG tore through our cockpit taking my legs and part of my arm with it.
The only reason I made it home was because of the heroism of my courageous buddies who risked their lives to save mine.
I view my time now as a bonus, and that has allowed me speak up without fear.
So when Congress failed to pass a budget, I sponsored the no budget no pay act and led by example -- returning more than ten thousand dollars of my own pay to taxpayers and cutting a over a hundred thousand from my office budget.
I'm running for the United States Senate in 2016 because it's time for Washington to be held accountable and to put Illinois' families and communities first.
I believe that together we can build an America this is strong from the ground up.
We need more Pre-K.
We need college loans to be affordable.
And the engines of Illinois' economy are small businesses and the middle-class -- I believe we need tax cuts for them for a change.
I look forward to visiting your community soon, and if you elect me as Illinois’s Senator, I will fight my heart out to represent you with honor and integrity.
Duckworth is a former Blackhawk pilot who lost her legs and part of an arm while fighting for the U.S. in Iraq. She previously worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs and was elected to Congress in 2010.
For the record, here's my favorite Tammy Duckworth moment: Tammy Duckworth is not taking your sh*t.
More here: Rep. Tammy Duckworth announces Senate bid: 'I will fight my heart out to represent you with honor and integrity'