Bloomberg-Backed Chicago Democrat Is Headed to the House

Robin Kelly. Photo: John Smierciak

The seat once held by troubled Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is vacant no longer. Two months after Mayor Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC spent $2 million on ads against her NRA-backed primary opponent, Robin Kelly easily won Tuesday's special election. The fact that a Democrat has held the seat for six decades and her opponent spent nearly twenty years in prison for armed robbery didn't hurt either.

Bloomberg's PAC did not spend any money in the general election, but Kelly continued to focus on strengthening gun control, and appeared at her victory rally with the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old killed by gun violence after performing at President Obama's inauguration. Kelly's new colleague, Rep. Bobby L. Rush of Illinois, tells the New York Times that since gun control was such a big issue in her campaign, “I think she has no choice but to be one to stand up and be one of the more vocal members of Congress around the issue of guns."