In a race where most of the attacks were playing out quietly over direct mail, it's been a busy week in the 2nd congressional district with surprise endorsements, snubs, big money and a drop-out.
All the good stuff that goes into politics.
Here's a rundown:
Michael Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC pumps money into a TV ad attacking Debbie Halvorson for her NRA rating. Halvorson defends the A rating and calls her opponents desperate because she is the frontrunner in the race.
Preckwinkle snubs Kelly, backs Hutchinson
"I've thought long and hard and frankly struggled with this decision because Robin Kelly is a former employee of mine and friend," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. But she also said this was about being pragmatic: "It's not necessarily about the person you know best or you've known the longest, but the person you think is the strongest candidate and will win -- and that's Sen. Hutchinson."
Robin Kelly gets the backing of Napoleon Harris
Napoleon Harris gave his support to Kelly as he dropped out of the race. Just weeks earlier, Harris had been blanketing the 2nd congressional district with direct mail ads. Harris, 33, a former NFL player and newly-minted state senator has some name recognition as well as deep pockets. In his race for state senate last year, Harris loaned himself $220,000, a debt he still carried on his latest campaign finance report.
Meanwhile, a consultant who worked on Harris' campaign was cited in a state ethics probe.
Hutchinson campaign hits Kelly over Harris.
"While pretending to be an advocate for gun safety reform, Robin Kelly yesterday accepted the endorsement of someone facing a felony gun charge. And today, after claiming to be a progressive supporter of women's rights, she accepted the endorsement of Senator Napoleon Harris, one of the Democratic Party's most deeply conservative voices. Senator Harris is on record as anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, against the Equal Rights Amendment, and in favor of voter ID laws. Anyone who values these rights needs to question whether Robin Kelly can be trusted to stand up for them in Washington."
Hutchinson wins backing of 48 pastors
"There is no question in our mind that Toi Hutchinson is the candidate who will take our voices with us to Congress," Bishop Simon Gordon of Triedstone Full Grace Baptist Church says in a statement. "She has the kind of commitment to anti-violence, education, and job creation that we need so desperately right now. I'm excited to have her fighting for us in Washington."
Gun issue front and center at forum
A major topic was gun violence, and the killing this week of a 15-year-old Chicago girl, Hadiya Pendleton, who had attended President Barack Obama's inauguration with her school band, was cited by the candidates who back stricter gun control.