Kelly Cruises to Victory in Race for Jackson Jr. Seat

Vocal gun control supporter faces tough challenge in House

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 10, 2013 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Robin Kelly has, as widely expected, cruised to an easy victory over her Republican opponent in the race for the Chicago-area House seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.'s resignation. Kelly—a firm supporter of gun control whose primary campaign was bankrolled by Michael Bloomberg—won after raising more than 80 times as much as her Republican opponent, a community activist who spent around 20 years in jail for armed robberies and burglaries, Politico reports.

But for Kelly—whose three predecessors all left amid scandals—winning is probably the easy part, the AP finds. She faces huge expectations on a national scale because of her support for gun control, and on a local scale, in a poor district to which her powerful predecessor managed to bring more than $1 billion over 17 years. "When a freshman person goes in dealing with guys who are well-grounded and unwilling to negotiate, nothing's going to transfer. The fact is that she is almost facing an insurmountable task," says a local mayor.

Republican Paul McKinley, an ex-con turned community activist, lost heavily in the special election.
Republican Paul McKinley, an ex-con turned community activist, lost heavily in the special election.   (AP Photo/Courtesy the McKinley for Congress Campaign)
Democrat Robin Kelly, center, celebrates with supporters  in Matteson, Ill. last night.
Democrat Robin Kelly, center, celebrates with supporters in Matteson, Ill. last night.   (AP Photo/John Smierciak)
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