The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

April 9, 2013

Ex-Illinois lawmaker elected to succeed Jackson Jr.

(Continued)

CHICAGO —

"It hurt my heart. I had him up here on a pedestal," said Robert Pierson, a Dolton resident who cast a ballot for Kelly on Tuesday. "I hope this time we are going to get it right."

Other voters said it was Kelly's attention to anti-gun efforts that made her an attractive candidate. Guns became the top issue during the campaign — particularly before the primary — and ads from Bloomberg's super PAC played up that Kelly supports an assault weapons ban. The television spots also targeted one of her primary opponents, former one-term U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who has received favorable ratings in the past from the National Rifle Association.

Some voters, and certainly Kelly's candidates, questioned the outside involvement in the race. There were allegations of Kelly colluding with Bloomberg. She later dismissed any notions of working with Bloomberg, which is prohibited.

However, some voters on Tuesday said they didn't mind Bloomberg's involvement, particularly on the issue of guns and violence. The election comes as Chicago has seen an uptick in murders.

"Mayor Bloomberg, he's for right," said 62-year-old suburban Chicago voter Ted Norwood, who cast a vote for Kelly. "He speaks for everybody."

After her primary win, Kelly received praise from Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden, and she recently received an endorsement from President Barack Obama, who noted her anti-gun efforts.

When Kelly heads to Washington she will face other challenges. She'll be taking over after Jackson, a nearly 17-year incumbent with a spot on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Despite Jackson's legal problems at the end of his career — he was under a House Ethics Committee investigation for ties to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich — he brought home close to $1 billion in federal money to the district. He also had strong ties with community leaders and a family legacy. His was a former Chicago City Council member and he's the son of the civil rights leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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