Kirk, Duckworth raise big money in Senate race

Sen. Mark Kirk pulled ahead in the fundraising race for U.S. Senate with the Highland Park Republican's campaign saying today he'll report raising $1.35 million in the past three months toward re-election.

And Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, who is challenging Kirk, said her campaign has raised $1.2 million over the same period.

The two candidates have a combined more than $5 million in the bank - $3.2 million for Kirk and $2.2 million for Duckworth - foreshadowing what's likely to be a hard-fought campaign in 2016.

Duckworth faces a primary challenge from former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp, who raised more than $660,000 in the few weeks since starting a bid, her spokeswoman said.

"That should be of concern to Tammy," spokeswoman Marilyn Katz said.

Kirk is looking for a second term in the Senate after first being elected in 2010, and spokesman Kevin Artl said the last three months were his biggest fundraising quarter ever.

"Sen. Kirk's record-setting fundraising coupled with his record as a thoughtful, independent leader has him well-positioned to be re-elected," he said.

Duckworth's campaign said nearly 95 percent of its contributions were for $100 or less.

"It's especially gratifying to see how many grass-roots contributions and repeating small-dollar contributions we've received," campaign manager Kaitlin Fahey said.

Duckworth is serving a second term in Congress.

Kirk raised $1 million; Duckworth $522,000

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  U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth raised $1.2 million in the last quarter in her bid for U.S. Senate. George LeClaire/
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