The National Rifle Association can be beaten.
In a major victory for New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA SuperPAC, Robin Kelly — who made stronger gun laws the centerpiece of her campaign — defeated NRA A+ rated Debbie Halverson in a special Democratic primary election to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.’s vacated House seat.
Bloomberg spent more than $2.2 million on attack ads against Halverson’s anti-gun control record and advocating for Kelly as an alternative in Illinois’ 2nd District, which is based mostly in the south suburbs of Chicago. Kelly is expected to win the April 9 general election in the heavily Democratic district.
Kelly thanked supporters in her victory speech for sending “a message that tells the NRA that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end.”
In an email blast on Wednesday headlined “Big win in Chicago last night,” Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords’ gun safety group Americans for Responsible Solutions wrote “Chicago candidate Robin Kelly made universal background checks and other critical legislation the centerpiece of her campaign, and created a model for how we can elect candidates who share our values while sending a message to members of Congress who resist common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an emotionally charged hearing on Wednesday on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, and a committee vote is expected Thursday.
“We expect Congress to act now,” wrote Mark Kelly.
Photo credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP