Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in the race to replace disgraced ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Junior. Kelly's victory followed a truncated campaign season where she got a boost from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC.
The nomination all but assures that Kelly will sail through the April 9 general election and head to Washington, because the Chicago-area district is overwhelmingly Democratic.
From a crowded field of Democratic contenders, Kelly emerged early as a leader on gun-control issues — a central theme during the race — which helped her win support from Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA. It poured more than $2 million into the race by airing anti-gun ads in her favor and against another Democratic front runner, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who unlike Kelly is against banning assault weapons. Halvorson conceded Tuesday evening, saying the outside money certainly played a role.