Last Tuesday, February 26, Former Illinois State Rep. Robin Kelly defeated former U.S. House Rep. Debbie Halvorson in a special democratic primary for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat in Illinois’ second congressional district.
Why would that be of any interest to the people of the New NY 23rd?
Halvorson was in the 111th Congress (2008-2010). She was the early favorite to win Tuesday’s primary, until Kelly’s campaign, along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg support ($2 million), focused in on Halvorson’s “A” rating from the NRA. Kelly outspent Halverson 20:1.
“This is an important victory for common sense leadership on gun violence, a problem that plagues the whole nation,” Bloomberg said in a Tuesday night statement. As she conceded, Halvorson blamed Bloomberg’s money for her failed campaign.
Again, why would this race be of any interest to the people of the New NY 23rd?
Our congressman, Rep.Tom Reed, also has an “A” rating from the NRA. With that rating came a token NRA donation of $2000 for Reed’s campaign against Nate Shinagawa.
Reed has been unwavering in his support of the NRA’s stance on the gun violence issues, including their refusal to ban assault weapons and refusal to support background checks in all private sales. Reed sees the Second Amendment as being unchangeable–even though the Supreme Court has noted otherwise.
I wouldn’t be surprise, in fact I am expecting, Mayor Bloomberg to invest his support (money) AGAINST Rep. Reed in the 2014 election. Reed, an incumbent with a large war chest from Corporate PAC donations, barely defeated a young Nate Shinagawa with no Corporate money. Reed out spent Shinagawa 3-1, but eked out only a 4% victory.
Don’t get me wrong. Chicago’s urban congressional district that Robin Kelly will represent is a lot different from the NY 23rd rural district that Reed represents. I have yet to see a poll of the NY 23rd opinion on assault a weapons and background checks, but the closeness of Reed’s recent race, his NRA platform, the fact that the DCCC has targeted him as a candidate who can be defeated has put Reed in the lead to get Mayor Bloomberg’s attention when he looks to influence other races.
- Mayor Bloomberg on Robin Kelly anti-gun victory: “Harbinger of things to come” (blogs.suntimes.com)
- Gun control supporter backed by New York mayor wins Chicago vote (Reuters) (newsdaily.com)
- Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Robin Kelly scores a huge win and sends a message to the NRA (dailykos.com)