CHICAGO — Former state Rep. Robin Kelly has won the special election for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacated Illinois congressional seat.
The Matteson Democrat was widely expected to win today's contest over Republican community activist Paul McKinley. The strongly Democratic Chicago-area district includes suburbs and rural areas.
Kelly easily won the special primary in February from a crowded field of candidates including former Congressman Debbie Halvorson. The main issue in that race quickly became gun control and Kelly's campaign received a $2 million boost in ads including ones on television targeting Halvorson. Kelly is in favor of an assault weapons ban and has vowed to be a leader in the federal fight for gun control.
Jackson resigned in November. In February, he pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of misspending campaign funds.