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Robin Kelly officially claims Jesse Jackson Jr.’s former U.S. House seat

Updated: April 12, 2013 10:05AM



For the first time in 10 months, the residents of the 2nd Congressional District has representation in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill) officially claimed her House seat this afternoon in Washington D.C. after winning a commanding victory in Tuesday’s special election.

The 56-year-old, of south suburban Matteson, fills the vacancy left by disgraced Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned last November amid a federal probe into his congressional finances. Before resigning, Jackson was absent from Congress beginning June of 2012. He later said his absence was due to bipolar depression.

The Sun-Times has previously reported that federal authorities believed Jackson was tipped off to the investigation into his congressional fund. That probe also ensnared his wife, ex-Ald. Sandi Jackson, who also resigned. The two pleaded guilty to federal charges in February.

Kelly, who ran on a platform to fight the NRA and curb violence in the district, called Thursday “a new beginning” for the beleaguered, scandal-ridden district.

“I ran for Congress so that I could work to bring about a safer, less violent and more prosperous future, one in which our children can grow up without the fear of gun violence,” Kelly said in her swearing-in remarks. “Today is an important day in that fight. I look forward to working with you to protect our children from criminals and protect our 2nd Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens. Because we should — and can — do both.”



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