Former Democratic presidential candidate campaigns with Republican congressional candidate King in Freeport

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - It may not be out of the ordinary that in one of the most closely contested congressional races in the country, 17th district Republican hopeful Esther Joy King gets the backing of a former presidential candidate. But what may be a little surprising is that it’s a former Democratic presidential candidate endorsing her.

Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard made it to Freeport Wednesday to campaign for King. Gabbard was the nation’s first Hindu and Samoan-American in Congress. She made headlines earlier this month announcing that she was leaving the Democratic party. The former four-term Representative says she learned about King from Illinois Congressman Danny Davis, and after meeting her, the United States Army Reserve officer connected with the U.S. Army JAG officer King.

“Too often we have leaders in Washington who are responding and reacting to the polls and to the headlines and not actually solving problems,” said Gabbard. What we need are people who will lead even if it’s controversial, and put the interest of the American people first. And Esther is somebody who has done that already in uniform and will continue to look to do that in Congress.”

The election prediction site 538 has King’s race with Rockford Boylan alum and ex-TV Meteorologist Eric Sorensen as the 16th closest out of 538 U.S. House races this November. The site projects Sorensen to win by 51.2 to 49.8 percent of the vote as of Wednesday. We’ve reached out for comment from the Sorensen campaign and as soon as we receive one we will update this story.