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Democrats’ Tammy Duckworth picks up GOP Senate seat from Sen. Mark Kirk in Illinois

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., defeated GOP Sen. Mark Kirk Tuesday night. 
  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., defeated GOP Sen. Mark Kirk Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth has unseated first-term Republican Sen. Mark Kirk in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country.

Duckworth, a double amputee who lost both legs in the Iraq war, has served two terms in the House.

Kirk, who suffered a stroke in 2012, was considered one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Republicans and was targeted early by Democrats seeking to retake control of the chamber.

Kirk worked for months to convince voters that he’s independent of his party by criticizing GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. But Kirk hurt his own campaign with a series of controversial statements. He had to apologize to Duckworth last month after mocking her immigrant background and her family’s military history.

Duckworth, 48, will be the second Illinois woman to serve in the Senate.