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updated: 5/23/2014 5:40 PM

Duckworth criticizes opponent over endorsement

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  • Democrat Tammy Duckworth , left, and Republican Larry Kaifesh, right, are candidates for the 8th Congressional District  in the 2014 general election.

      Democrat Tammy Duckworth , left, and Republican Larry Kaifesh, right, are candidates for the 8th Congressional District in the 2014 general election.

 
 

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth's campaign Friday criticized her Republican opponent Larry Kaifesh over his planned endorsement by former Florida congressman Allen West.

West this week questioned Duckworth's "loyalties" in a TV appearance after Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Army veteran, was named to the congressional panel investigating the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

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"I just don't know where her loyalties lie," West said. "You know, for her to have been a veteran, a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing. And hopefully, you know, she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat Party."

Kaifesh, who is a Marine veteran and was on active duty shortly before starting his campaign, is scheduled to be at an endorsement session of West's Wednesday in Washington, D.C., according to Kaifesh.

"Larry Kaifesh is proud to identify with the Tea Party," Duckworth for Congress Campaign Manager Paul Kohnstamm said in a statement.

Kaifesh didn't address West's comments directly but said all veterans should be honored on Memorial Day weekend.

"That includes the service of Rep. Duckworth," he said of his opponent, who lost both legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was shot down in Iraq.

The two candidates are vying for Congress in the 8th Congressional District, which runs from Elgin in the west to Des Plaines in the east and stretches south from Wheeling to Lombard.

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