Jonesboro (AP) — A judge in southern Illinois has set an Aug. 15 trial date in a workplace retaliation lawsuit filed against U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth. The Democratic congresswoman is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in one of November’s most competitive Senate races. Two employees of a home for veterans say Duckworth violated state ethics laws by taking action against them when she was head of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth’s supporters call the case a politically motivated nuisance lawsuit. They note it was dismissed twice before the current lawsuit was refiled in Union County. Kirk’s campaign has highlighted the case in TV ads accusing Duckworth of mistreating veterans and trying to silence whistleblowers. Union County Judge Mark Boie says he’ll hear the case Aug. 15-16.