Sometimes rivals really can get along.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Sen.-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) met at Manny’s Deli in Chicago on Friday, just days after Duckworth ousted the senator from the upper chamber.
The two military veterans shook hands, shared a meal and toasted on a day set aside to honor service members.
Duckworth and Kirk discussed the senator-elect’s upcoming role and what they had been up to since Election Day ― Kirk, for his part, got a new puppy named Sweet Pea.
The two also discussed the results of Tuesday’s presidential race and agreed that “the orderly transfer of power is an important American tradition and one that must be respected,” said Duckworth campaign spokesman Matt McGrath.
Duckworth, who currently serves in the U.S. House, bested Kirk this week with 54 percent of the vote. Kirk took 40 percent. That signaled the end of a contentious, and sometimes nasty, race for the seat. At one point, Kirk even took a distasteful jab at Duckworth’s ancestry, although he later apologized for his comment.
The meeting on Veterans Day wasn’t the first conciliatory gesture between the two. Kirk tweeted Wednesday about his desire to work with Duckworth.
Kirk held a “beer summit” at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago with challenger Alexi Giannoulias after winning the election in 2010. He made the same offer to Duckworth but adjusted the location after learning Duckworth is allergic to alcohol, according to Kirk campaign spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis.
The purpose of both meetings was “to bury the hatchet and show Illinois that it is imperative both sides work together to put Illinois first,” Demertzis said.