DANVILLE — Tammy Duckworth said Sunday that the U.S. needs to invest more in education and infrastructure and keep American businesses from moving overseas.

Duckworth, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., in the Nov. 8 election, spoke at a “We Are the Change” event sponsored by the Vermilion County Young Democrats at Lincoln Park in Danville.

She never mentioned Kirk in her 12-minute address, although she referred to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump once in explaining why she is running for the Senate.

“I was home on maternity leave when I looked at our nation’s future, and I looked at what the Supreme Court is going to be and the lack of investment in education and the division and the hatred that is coming out of people like Donald Trump and the Republican party, and I just thought that I can’t let my daughter grow up in a nation that is divided,” Duckworth said.

Also at Sunday’s event, Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, a Republican, endorsed state Sen. Scott Bennett, a Democrat, in the 52nd Senate District race.

Bennett, who was appointed to the Senate seat in 2015, is being challenged in the November general election by Mike Madigan, a member of the Urbana City Council.

Eisenhauer said within hours of the time Bennett was appointed, “this young man was in my office. He did not ask, ‘Mayor, are you a Republican or a Democrat?’ He asked, ‘What do I need to do to help Danville?’ That’s the type of guy he is.”

He said Bennett also has sponsored legislation to help sexual-assault victims and has worked to bring a bus transfer zone for Danville Mass Transit users.

“It is for the reasons I just mentioned that I stand here before you today, endorsing and providing my full support for our senators in the 52nd District, Scott Bennett,” Eisenhauer told a crowd of about 100 at Lincoln Park.

Duckworth, who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq, told the crowd, “I believe in a strong military and I believe in investing in our veterans and in our military men and women, especially when they serve and come home, but our nation’s strength does not rest purely within our military might.

“I love tanks and guns and helicopters. I’ve flown them, shot them and ridden in them, but that’s not the sole source of our nation’s strength.”

But, she added, “we can’t get quality men and women in uniform if we can’t get kids who graduate from high school. We can’t get tank drivers who can’t pass a basic math test.”

Duckworth called for more infrastructure investment, although she did not say how she would pay for it, and said that large corporations should not be permitted “to ship their profits overseas and not pay their fair share of taxes, especially when the small and medium businesses, who stay in our communities and are the backbones of our economies, they pay their fair share.”

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