CHICAGO — Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly clinched the Democratic Party's nomination Tuesday in a special primary election for the House seat vacated by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. after a campaign calling for tougher national gun laws.
The outcome of the contest was welcome news for Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York and a staunch gun-control advocate. He poured more than $2.2 million into attacking Kelly's chief opponent, Debbie Halvorson, this month.
Flooding Chicago airwaves, Bloomberg's super PAC, Independence USA, ran a series of advertisements criticizing Halvorson for opposing certain gun control measures and endorsing Kelly as the alternative candidate.
The advertising blitz is a sign of what could await future candidates who do not align with Bloomberg's quest to change firearm laws across the country.
Because of the political makeup of the 2nd Congressional District, Kelly is now all but certain to win the April 9 general election.
Jackson resigned in November, after a monthslong medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues, then pleaded guilty this month to charges that accused him of misspending $750,000 in campaign money on lavish personal items, including a Rolex watch and fur coats.