Jessie Jackson Jr.’s time in Congress has been filled with highs, lows, and shocking revelations. So now all eyes are on Robin Kelly, who easily won the Democratic primary to replace in Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the former state representative easily won the special Democratic primary Tuesday night. Her race was helped by millions of dollars in pro-gun control ads from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political fund. Kelly has been very outspoken for the need for gun control.
“You sent a message that was heard around our state and across the nation. A message that tells the NRA that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end,” Kelly told supporters in a Matteson hotel ballroom. “To every leader in the fight for gun control ready to work with President (Barack) Obama and [Chicago] Mayor (Rahm) Emanuel to stop this senseless violence, thank you for your leadership and thank you for your courage.”
According to the newspaper, Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC was the largest campaign interest in the race. It dominated the Chicago broadcast TV airwaves.
And even though turnout was low due to a snowstorm and lack of voter interest, Kelly easily won with 52 percent to 25 percent for former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and 11 percent for Chicago 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale with 99 percent of precincts counted.
Next, Kelly will go head to head with the winner of the Republican primary in an April 9 special general election in the heavily Democratic district. On the GOP side, fewer than 25 votes separated Paul McKinley, who has a criminal past, and businessman Eric Wallace. The unofficial vote leader was McKinley, 54, who was arrested 11 times between 2003 and 2007, mostly for protesting. Almost all of the charges dropped. “In the 1970s and ’80s, McKinley was convicted of six felony counts, serving nearly 20 years in prison for burglaries, armed robberies and aggravated battery,” writes The Tribune.