Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Preckwinkle Aide Resigns to Focus on Congressional Bid

Robin Kelly seeks Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacated seat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Robin Kelly gave up her old job as she continues her quest for JJJ's old seat.

    Robin Kelly is all in.

    Kelly told the Chicago Sun-Times Thursday she's resigning from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s cabinet to concentrate on her bid to win the 2nd District Congressional seat.

    Kelly worked as Preckwinkle's chief of administrative officer and was originally planning to take a leave of absence, but informed her boss of her new decision last week, according to the newspaper.

    Before serving in Cook County, Kelly was chief of staff to former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. She ran unsuccessfully to replace Giannoulias in 2010, losing to Republican opponent and current state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

    She joins a growing field of candidates for the position. Former NFL player Napoleon Harris announced his intention to run on Thursday.

    Illinois Democratic party leaders are expected to meet on Saturday to endorse a single candidate.

    Last month, Jackson resigned from his seat in a letter to the U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, citing ongoing health concerns, and acknowledging a swirling federal investigation. His resignation came weeks after winning reelection to the 2nd U.S. Congressional District, which he did without campaigning in person.