WASHINGTON--Illinois Democratic House hopeful Tammy Duckworth, locked in a primary battle with Raja Krishnamoorthi, is getting the financial backing of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, even as the House Democratic political operation is officially neutral.
I've been told by the Duckworth campaign Pelosi gave Duckworth, running in the northwest suburban 8th congressional district, two checks on Oct. 19: $5,000 from her leadership political action committee called Pac to the Future and $2,000 from her Pelosi for Congress fund.
Other House leaders have also donated to Duckworth, the wounded Iraq war veteran who ran the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and went on to be appointed by President Barack Obama as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The battle in the 8th district heated up last week when Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) switched districts and decided to run in the 8th--drawn in the remap to be a Democratic district.
Pelosi's contributions are a boost for Duckworth's national fund-raising efforts because they may generate more donations. Pelosi, by vouching for Duckworth with checks from her warchests sends a signal to Pelosi's extensive network of donors to do the same.
Locally, the Pelosi contributions may contribute to a narrative, promoted by the Krishnamoorthi camp, that Duckworth is a "Washington" candidate--no more true that saying that President Barack Obama is a "Washington" president. Duckworth is running with the endorsement of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who is also helping with her fund-raising efforts as is Obama's top strategist David Axelrod.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is officially neutral in the 8th district primary.
UPDATE TUESDAY FROM KRISHNAMOORTHI CAMPAIGN, FEATURING NEW UNION ENDORSEMENT
"While Duckworth may have support from Democratic Party elders in Washington, Raja has amassed the lion's share of support on the ground with local democratic organizations, unions, and community leaders. Today, Raja won the support of the powerful 14,000-strong IBEW Local 134, adding to his long list of local supporters, because Raja's economic message resonates with voters, and they know he has the economic credibility to expose the Tea Party's economic agenda as harmful to middle class prosperity." - Mike Murray Campaign Spokesman