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updated: 5/22/2013 8:23 AM

Kirk announces support for Pritzker at Commerce

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is supporting Penny Pritzker as President Barack Obama's choice for commerce secretary.

Kirk, a Republican from Highland Park, said Tuesday he will join Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on Thursday in introducing Pritzker to the Senate Commerce Committee for a confirmation hearing.

Pritzker is a longtime fundraiser and Hyatt hotel heiress, businesswoman and philanthropist.

Kirk says Pritzker's business experience will benefit her in supporting programs to promote jobs and economic growth.

He says he met her and "found her to be someone who is willing to take on special interests."

Pritzker has known Obama since the 1990s and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Democrat's two presidential campaigns.

She served on two Obama economic recovery and jobs committees.

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