Duckworth is the first Democrat to formally announce intentions to run for the Senate seat. Rep. Cheri Bustos, who was considering a run, has decided to no longer jump into the race after Duckworth's announcement. Other Democrats who have signaled an interest in the 2016 race are U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly and Bill Foster.
A spokesman for Republican Senator Mark Kirk released a statement saying, "Senator Kirk looks forward to a conversation on the issues that matter most to voters across the state including his record of thoughtful, independent leadership, and his work each and every day to serve Illinois families."
Duckworth is currently serving her second term as Representative of Illinois' 8th District.