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Posts in "Illinois"
April 9, 2013
Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly won the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. on Tuesday.
Kelly, a Democrat, defeated Republican Paul McKinley, 89 percent to 6.6 percent, with 19.8 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
Her victory came as no surprise. The 2nd District is heavily Democratic and Kelly had minimal opposition in the general election. McKinley is a convicted felon, according to numerous news outlets.
(See also in Roll Call: Obama Endorses Robin Kelly in Special Election (Finally))
March 8, 2013
Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin will seek a fourth term, a source close to the Illinois Democrat confirmed.
The Chicago Tribune reported the news Friday afternoon.
Durbin is the second-ranking Senate Democrat. He is actively involved in immigration reform negotiations and recently took the gavel of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
This essentially keeps the seat in the Safe Democratic column. Had he not run, it might have been competitive, although Republicans have a relatively weak bench in the state.
March 7, 2013
National and local Republicans are recruiting state Rep. Darlene Senger to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster — and she has confirmed interest in taking him on in suburban Chicago’s 11th District.
“I’m considering it, but I haven’t announced anything yet,” Senger said in a Thursday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. She added that she is in the exploratory phase of a campaign and fundraising is a top consideration in her viability.
The 11th District won’t be easy for Republicans to pick up next year. In 2012, Foster defeated former GOP Rep. Judy Biggert, by 17 points. Still, Republicans hold out hope they can win the district in part because of the competitive nature of the Chicago suburbs and exurbs.
February 26, 2013
Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly won the Democratic nomination in the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. on Tuesday and is now poised to succeed him in Congress.
Kelly had 55 percent, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson had 21 percent and Alderman Anthony Beale had 11 percent, with 63 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
Kelly’s win also marks a victory for New York City Michael Bloomberg, whose super PAC spent more than $2 million in the race. Bloomberg supports gun control, which became a central issue in the race for the district on Chicago’s south side. The area has endured a spike in gun violence in the past few years.
This was Bloomberg’s first foray into congressional races since the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last year. He spent millions of dollars knocking Halvorson, who received support from the National Rifle Association in her previous races, and boosting Kelly. Full story
February 17, 2013
Updated 10:09 a.m. | State Sen. Toi Hutchinson will drop out of the the 2nd District special election Sunday and back her fellow Democrat, Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, according to local news reports.
Hutchinson’s departure comes less than 48 hours after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PAC unleashed a television ad criticizing her position on gun control.
Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC spot also endorsed Kelly — part of the $2 million his group plans to spend on this race. Local Democrats view Kelly as the front-runner in this race, and Hutchinson’s withdrawal only helps to cement her former foe’s top status.
In the first several weeks of the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill., Hutchinson ran an able campaign. She had good fundraising and a noteworthy campaign team.
But Hutchinson faltered when gun control came to dominate this race. In previous runs, Hutchinson boasted support from Second Amendment rights groups like the National Rifle Association.
February 13, 2013
Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly has picked up another endorsement from the Illinois congressional delegation in her bid to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., told CQ Roll Call late Tuesday night she will endorse Kelly in the upcoming special election.
“One of the reasons is the gun issue,” Schakowsky said. “She has the view that we need to do some sensible violence prevention legislation.”
“The other two have A ratings from the National Rifle Association,” added the congresswoman, referring to Kelly’s rivals, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson. “I think that’s an important issue.”
February 7, 2013
Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly will air her first television spot, marking the first Democratic candidate to hit the airwaves in the special election for former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s seat.
Her ad buy is for “at least” five figures on cable television in the 2nd District, according to a Kelly spokesman. The spot highlights Kelly’s support for gun control, a pivotal issue on Chicago’s South Side.
“In the legislature, she worked with Barack Obama to crack down on illegal gun sales,” a male narrator says. “In Congress, Kelly will keep taking on the NRA, fighting to ban assault weapons and outlaw high-capacity ammunition clips.”
December 17, 2012
Southside Chicago Democrats have failed to agree on a consensus candidate for the 2nd District special election.
This weekend, a panel of party leaders led by Thornton Township Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli met with the intention of slating a candidate for the Feb. 26 special primary. But they could not agree.
Democrat Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s resignation spurred a free-for-all Democratic primary for his seat. The winner will likely be the next member of Congress from this heavily Democratic district.
The burgeoning field of Democrats include Alderman Anthony Beale, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, former Rep. Mel Reynolds and state Sen. Donne Trotter.
November 21, 2012
Updated 3:18 p.m. | Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. submitted his letter of resignation from the House on Wednesday, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, confirmed.
In the letter to Boehner, the Illinois Democrat said that his resignation would be effective as of Wednesday, citing ongoing health issues.
“The constituents of the Second District deserve a full-time legislator in Washington, something I cannot be for the foreseeable future. My health issues and treatment regimen have become incompatible with service in the House of Representatives,” Jackson wrote.
Jackson also acknowledged the ongoing federal probe into his conduct, without getting into details of legal matters. Full story
November 20, 2012
For a few minutes Tuesday night, it looked as if Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. might make his first substantive comments since reports of a federal investigation of the Illinois Democrat over misuse of campaign funds.
A report by the Fox affiliate in Chicago said Jackson planned to “break his silence” on a conference call with staff Wednesday morning. According to the TV station, sources said there would also be an email from the Jackson camp about future plans.
Jackson’s office quickly sought to dismiss the report, but the CBS station in the Windy City confirmed the call had been scheduled only to be quickly scrapped.
November 4, 2012
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who suffered a debilitating stroke 10 months ago, is becoming increasingly more open about his recovery and granted his first interview with a reporter today since his health scare.
Kirk climbed 37 flights of the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower and one of the word’s tallest buildings, as part of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Stair climb. Upon completion of the event, he talked to a reporter from Chicago’s NBC affiliate.
Late last week, the campaign of Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), who is engaged in one of the tightest House races in the nation, released a video of Kirk and Dold campaigning together.
Though Kirk did not address his possible return date in the brief footage of his conversation with the NBC affiliate, the reporter, Mary Ann Ahern, said both before and after the segment that Kirk now hopes to return to Congress in January.
Full video here.
October 31, 2012
LEMONT, Ill. — Rep. Judy Biggert built a reputation as a genteel Republican willing to work across the aisle during her 14 years in Congress.
But politics has changed, and Biggert has not.
“The last time I went to the Civility Caucus, there were three people there: the two co-chairs and me,” Biggert recalled to a roundtable of local business leaders last week.
Today, one of those co-chairmen is the head of the organization that has already spent $1.35 million to defeat her next week: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.).
Biggert has never faced a race like this — and it shows. Now there’s a good chance her hesitance to embrace the aggressive tactics of today’s politics could cost her in her race against former Rep. Bill Foster (D). Full story
October 30, 2012
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Democratic hopes of winning the House majority have been quashed, but in this northern Chicago suburb’s crowded village hall on a Saturday morning, one can see the glimmer of what might have been.
At this single location, early voters wait an hour to cast ballots in one of three redrawn Congressional districts. The hall serves as a symbol of the extent to which Democrats redrew the lines of the state’s map to their advantage.
Throughout the cycle, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) repeated these words: “The road to the majority runs through Illinois.” But less than week before Election Day, it’s clear that Democrats won’t net the 25 seats needed to regain the Speaker’s gavel, and it’s equally clear they won’t make as many gains in Illinois as they had hoped. Full story
October 16, 2012
Speaker John Boehner will be in Iowa campaigning for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday, and he also plans to fundraise for two House challengers while he’s in the state.
Ben Lange and John Archer, who are running against Democratic incumbents in Iowa’s 1st and 2nd districts, respectively, will get a boost from the Speaker.
The Ohio Republican will start the day with a fundraising luncheon in Davenport for Archer, a lawyer who is running against Rep. Dave Loebsack (D). The event will be held at the Davenport Country Club, and donations range from $250 to $1,000 a person, according to the Quad-City Times. Full story