Obama allies rally against gun-rights Democrat in Illinois special election

by Cameron Joseph, The Hill  |  published on February 16, 2013

Some key allies of President Obama are working to stop former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), a pro-gun-rights candidate, from winning a heavily Democratic district in Obama’s Chicago backyard.

Halvorson, running in a crowded Democratic primary to fill the seat left open by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s (D-Ill.) resignation, is facing strong opposition from several Democrats and liberal groups, some with close ties to the president.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), an Obama ally who is also close to House leadership, on Wednesday became the latest to come out against Halvorson ahead of the Feb. 26 primary.

She endorsed former Cook County Administrator Robin Kelly (D), stressing that Kelly would be the candidate most in line with Obama’s gun views.

“After the State of the Union address (on Tuesday) it’s hard to say gun violence prevention isn’t a top priority for our country, and certainly for the president, who’s engaged in this issue,” Schakowsky said. “Robin Kelly has been a leader on this issue from day one.”

Indeed, the special election in Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District is proving a key early battleground in the gun-rights fight.

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