Kelly wins 2nd District Democratic primary

By Marina Fang

Former state representative Robin Kelly defeated former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, and eleven other candidates in Tuesday’s 2nd District Democratic primary.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Kelly won 52 percent of the vote. Halvorson and Beale received 25 percent and 11 percent, respectively, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The primary had low voter turnout, which the Tribune attributed to a lack of interest, the relatively short campaign period, and Tuesday’s inclement weather.

Kelly, as the Democratic candidate, is likely to win the April 9 general election to fill former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s seat, given that the district is mostly Democratic. As of Wednesday, her opponent remains unknown: the Tribune reported that less than 25 votes separated the two leading candidates in the Republican primary, Paul McKinley and Eric Wallace.

The Democratic race gained national attention when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control Super-PAC, Independence USA PAC, poured over $2 million into television ads attacking Halvorson’s pro-gun rights stance and supporting Kelly’s candidacy.

While most of the 2nd District encompasses the far South Side and south Chicagoland suburbs, the district includes a portion of Hyde Park east of Stony Island Avenue and south of 53rd Street.

Kelly dominated in the district’s most populous regions on the South Side and in the southern Cook County suburbs, while Halvorson bested Kelly in the parts of the district located in Kankakee and Will Counties.