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Congressmen back Robin Kelly for Jackson's seat

Published: Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 9:41 a.m. CST

(MCT) — With early voting set to begin Monday, former state Rep. Robin Kelly was endorsed Sunday by U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis in the 2nd Congressional District special Democratic primary.

Rush, a South Side Democrat, and Davis, a West Side Democrat, each cited Kelly's support for tougher restrictions on guns in backing her in the 16-candidate field.

"Our communities are facing an epidemic of gun violence, and we need more members of Congress who can be trusted to fight for common-sense gun control measures. Robin Kelly is a woman of integrity and conviction, and President (Barack) Obama, Congressman Davis and I need her as our partner in ending gun violence," Rush said in a statement.

Davis said Kelly is the right person "if we are going to stop the (National Rifle Association) in their tracks and make our communities safe again."

In an email to supporters, Kelly called Rush and Davis "mentors and role models" with "tireless dedication" to justice and fairness.

Kelly, former chief administrative officer for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, is among the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination and the right to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned in November.

Preckwinkle has endorsed state Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields in the contest. Other top Democrats include former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, of Crete, and Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th.

Early voting for the Feb. 26 Democratic and Republican special primaries runs from Monday through Feb. 23, election officials said.

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