Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Obama Endorses Likely Winner In 2nd District

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Kelly Win a Win for Gun Reformers

Democrat Robin Kelly easily won her party's ticket in Tuesday's primary election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress. Kim Vatis reports on the national attention the race has garnered.

Kelly to Voters: You Sent a Message

Speaking to supporters at a Holiday Inn in Matteson, Robin Kelly said she would continue to fight for more stronger gun control legislation.
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The man who once backed Jesse Jackson Jr. for Illinois' 2nd District is supporting the former congressman's likely successor.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday endorsed Robin Kelly in the race to replace Jackson, who resigned from the seat last year amid a federal investigation and later pleaded guilty to misspending hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.

“I share Robin’s passionate advocacy to end gun violence with common sense solutions because like her, I believe families impacted by gun violence - especially in my home city of Chicago - deserve a vote," Obama said in a statement. "I urge you to elect Robin Kelly as your representative in the United State Congress."

All in all, Kelly is a pretty safe endorsement. She easily won the Democratic primary, beating top rivals Debbie Halvorson and Ald. Anthony Beale with 51.9 percent of the vote thanks to a little help from ads funded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's SuperPAC.

In a Democrat-heavy area, there are few doubts she will go on to beat her Republican opponent, and her agenda is abundantly clear. During her victory speech in February, Kelly didn't shy from her stance on guns, saying she would stand with Obama to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

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

Kelly said Tuesday she couldn't be more proud of the endorsement from the president.

“Since our work together in the Illinois legislature, we have shared a vision of helping communities thrive by supporting small businesses and economic development, giving children and adults alike great education and training, and ending the cycle of gun violence," Kelly said. "In Congress, I look forward to continuing working with the President and members of our Illinois delegation to achieve the bright future Americans deserve.”

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