A press release from the office of Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who is running against Republican Joe Walsh for his current Congressional seat in Illinois' 8th District, made a surprising announcement Tuesday: Duckworth had secured an endorsement from... Joe Walsh?
The "real" Joe Walsh, as he refers to himself in his statement of support for Duckworth's campaign, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and six-time Grammy award winning musician who plays guitar for the Eagles.
"I'm the real Joe Walsh and I'm proud to back a real American success story - Tammy Duckworth,” said Walsh in a release issued by Duckworth's campaign. “Tammy's story, her service to our nation and her continued commitment to working families (like the one I come from!) have convinced me that she's the right choice for Congress."
Walsh, the rocker, previously filed suit against the controversial congressman over his use of the Walsh/James Gang hit "Walk Away" in his campaign.
The rock legend spent his childhood in Evanston, Ill., before hitting the road with one of the acclaimed group, which reunited in 1994 after a 14-year hiatus and was inducted to the Hall of Fame four years later. A solo performer before joining the band in 1976, Walsh is revisiting those roots with the release of "Analog Man" this year, his first solo album since 1973, and will be touring in support throughout 2012 in the U.S. and abroad.
Walsh has also signed on to play a special benefit concert for the Duckworth campaign July 1 in the 8th District. Tickets are available on Duckworth's website and range from $100 for "fan"-level seating to $2,500 "legend" packages, which include a meet-and-greet with the musician and a special reception.
The non-musician Walsh, a budding star within the Tea Party movement, and Duckworth have been campaigning against one another since Duckworth edged out Raja Krishnamoorthi for the Democratic ticket in March. The two faced off in their first debate last month and, in the weeks that have followed, Walsh came under fire for commenting that Democrats "want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government" -- a comment that was not his first controversial racial remark.