Democrat Robin Kelly Wins Jesse Jackson Jr.’s House Seat

Source: John McCormick / Bloomberg

Democrat Robin Kelly won the special election to fill the vacated seat of former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. in a district that includes part of Chicago’s South Side and southern suburbs.

Kelly, 56, was the anticipated victor in a district that voted 81 percent for President Barack Obama in November, and the Associated Press declared her the victor yesterday shortly after the polls closed. Her Republican opponent, Paul McKinley, served almost 20 years in prison for armed robbery, burglary and aggravated battery until a 1997 parole, according to the Chicago Tribune.

When Kelly — a friend of Obama, who attended her wedding – – is sworn into her seat, the House will have 232 Republicans and 201 Democrats, with two seats vacant. She had 71 percent of the vote to 22 percent for McKinley with 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP tally.

A former Illinois state legislator, Kelly emerged as her party’s nominee by defeating 15 other candidates in a Feb. 26 Democratic primary that culminated a campaign centered ongun control and the role of outside money.

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