Dem wins Chicago area district vote
April 9th, 2013
08:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Dem wins Chicago area district vote

(CNN) - Democratic nominee Robin Kelly won a special election Tuesday to fill the congressional seat left vacant by disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., CNN projected.

A former Illinois state representative, Kelly was considered the overwhelming favorite in the district, which includes parts of Chicago's Southside. It's one of the most Democratic in the nation.

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While February's Democratic primary for the special election for Illinois' 2nd Congressional District was a high profile contest full of drama, the general election campaign was a very low profile affair, and turnout was light.

The seat was held for 17 years by Jackson, who resigned shortly after winning re-election last November. He pleaded guilty in federal court in February to using campaign funds for personal use.

Kelly faced off against Republican Paul McKinley, a convicted felon who spent nearly two decades behind bars for burglaries, armed robberies, and aggravated battery. McKinley narrowly won February's GOP primary. A Green Party candidate and three independents were also on the ballot.

"In such a solidly Democratic district, in the absence of a major misstep, winning the Democratic nomination is essentially tantamount to winning the general election. Kelly's biggest hurdle was winning the crowded primary, thanks to an assist from Mayor Bloomberg," said Jessica Taylor, senior analyst/reporter for the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report

Kelly, a strong supporter of gun control, was one of more than a dozen candidates vying for February's Democratic nomination. She was supported in her bid by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a backer of tougher gun control laws. Her chief rival was Democratic State lawmaker Debbie Halvorson, had an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association, and opposed an assault weapons ban. She was the target of negative ads from Independence USA, a political action committee supported by Bloomberg. In total, the group spent more than $2 million on the race.

The primary election was the first congressional contest since December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which put gun control back into the national political spotlight. The district includes some areas hit hard by the increased gun violence in Chicago. Some 506 people were murdered in the city last year, according to local crime statistics, up from 433 in 2011.

An earlier version of this story erroneously reported the number of murders in Chicago last year.

Filed under: Congress • Illinois
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Catmandew

    So let's see Bloomberg New York mayor is tryin to change elections all over the country. It amazes me that Chicago hasn't figured out yet strict gun laws aren't the answer to gun control. They have the most strict gun laws in the country yet they are shooting each other in mass!

    April 9, 2013 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  2. Catmandew

    Does anyone else wonder how a mayor has millions of dollars to spend on an election miles from his city? Like New York has anything to brag about in these catagories anyway.

    April 9, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  3. Name lynn

    These people can sure go in other people back ground an find wrong during, but what about their back ground the ones in other people business, People change in life what about the people checking other people back ground, democrates mainly wins anyway not many republicans.

    April 9, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The Dem socialists have an iron clad hold on Chicago, because they are backed by the Chicago Mob.

    April 9, 2013 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  5. Meki60

    what a loser Jackson is, on what basis do these people get elected.

    April 9, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. ipmutt

    If they just want to replace him, pick any big mouth drug addicted gangster off the street. If they want a new kind of person sell the position like Obama did when he left.

    April 9, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  7. walter

    Gee, you'd think the convicted felon would have the upper hand in a Chicago election.

    April 9, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  8. Allan

    Heck i wouldnt be surprised if they re voted by writing in Jackson, why the heck did they vote for somebody that wasnt in his office for months to start with.

    April 9, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  9. idb

    What is it with these voters always going for the crook? Amazing. No wonder the country is such a mess.

    April 9, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  10. J0nx

    So who's replacing the voters? Seems to me they are the ones who need replacing since they voted this S Cu M Ba G into office in the first place.

    April 9, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. RJO

    Good thing Chicago has all those really tough gun laws, murders are only up 24%...

    April 9, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |