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Chicago Selects Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Likely Replacement

In what can only be described as a slam dunk, former state representative Robin Kelly trounced her opponents in the election to Robin Kellyreplace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.

There was a snowstorm in Chicago on Tuesday, so turnout was low, but Kelly had 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.

Halvorson was initially thought to be the favorite in the race, but her “A” rating with the National Rifle Association turned out to be her Achilles heel. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PAC paid for ads that went after Halvorson for cozying up to the NRA, and that turned out to be Halvorson’s undoing.

“You sent a message that was heard around our state and across the nation,” Kelly told supporters in a Matteson hotel ballroom. “A message that tells the NRA that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end.

“To every leader in the fight for gun control ready to work with President (Barack) Obama and Mayor (Rahm) Emanuel to stop this senseless violence, thank you for your leadership and thank you for your courage,” she said.

Halvorson told her supporters to throw their support behind Kelly, but Halvorson also made it clear that she was still peeved by the role Bloomberg’s ads played in her election.

“We all know how rough it was for me to have to run an election against someone who spent ($2.2) million against me,” Halvorson said at Homewood restaurant. “Every 7½ minutes there was a commercial.”


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