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***Updated with women's event details***

The freshly-elected U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly will host Democratic heavyweights Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer in the 2nd congressional district next week.

On May 30th, Kelly and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will tour two 2nd Congressional District businesses - Bimba Manufacturing in University Park and the Chicago Ford Assembly plant.

This is part of Hoyer's "Make it in America" initiative to increase domestic manufacturing and Kelly's hope to keep manufacturing jobs in the district.
Expect a 10 a.m. press event at Bimba next week.

Kelly is expected to co-host a women's event with Pelosi. Details to come.

Details
Women Employed, Women's Business Development Center, Coalition of Labor Union Women, National Association of Women's Business Owners, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Jobs with Justice will host House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Schakowsky and Rep. Robin Kelly at a forum on creating opportunities for working women. Following a speaking program, the Congressional leaders will greet women in attendance.

WHO: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Rep. Robin Kelly

WHAT: Forum on creating opportunities for working women

WHEN: May 29th at 10:00 am

WHERE: Loyola University Chicago
Regents Hall
Lewis Towers, 16th Floor
111 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611


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 Matteson fills the vacancy left by the disgraced Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned last November amid a federal probe into his congressional finances. Before resigning though, Jackson was absent from Congress beginning June of 2012. He later said his absence was due to
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."

[BEGIN REMARKS]

It is truly an honor to be standing here and humbling to have been chosen to represent the families of the 2nd Congressional District. I thank the entire Illinois delegation for their support and advice.

I would also like to thank my family, friends and staff who are here in the gallery.

As I look around this hallowed chamber, I know this is a place where so much history has been made. But today, I stand before you to talk about our present. 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. 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.

I also look forward to working on the many other issues we face, such as creating jobs, passing immigration reform and continuing the hard work in improving our healthcare system.

But today is about a new beginning for the people of 2nd Congressional District, who I am so proud and honored to represent. I look forward to being their advocate and their champion and to working with you to create a brighter future for all of our constituents.

Thank you and God Bless.


[END REMARKS]


Here are Robin Kelly's prepared remarks. Kelly just clinched the 2nd congressional district election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.


[Begin Kelly Remarks]

When I first announced for Congress in December, I asked you to stand by me in a fight that was bigger than any one person.

I told you then--and throughout this campaign--that our fight wasn't about me--it was about you.

about your dreams. Your hopes. your families.

You lent us your hearts, your time and your support. And look at where we are now.

I'm sure that you remember that---when we began this campaign-- there were a whole lot of people who counted us out, naysayers who said we couldn't win.

Well, we not only won an election

we took on the NRA

we gave a voice to the voiceless,

and we put our communities on a brand new path to a brighter day.

Yes, we've seen some tough times and some setbacks. I know for some of you, your faith in your leaders is a little shaken.

Dr. King once said that "Only in the darkness, can we see the stars." Well, you all, you are the stars.

Throughout it all, you stayed committed to our communities and to helping usher in the change necessary to move us forward.

Through your support, you put your trust in me. I thank you for that and I promise that I'll never let you down.

Now, make no mistake, the road ahead will be bumpy.

Making our families safe from gun violence is going to be a challenge.

Putting people back to work is a tough task.

But, to those who say that we won't be able to make Congress do anything on gun control, who think this Tea Party Congress can't be beaten---

I've got two words:

Watch us.

Watch us beat the odds again.

Watch us take on the NRA, the Tea Party and anyone else standing in the way of our safety.

Watch us mobilize families and turn grief into action--just like the families of victims of gun violence have done in powering this campaign each and every day.

Watch us tell the Tea Party Republicans that we aren't going to let them gut vital promises to seniors like Medicare and Social Security.

Watch us work with President Obama to continue to put people back to work, to fix our broken immigration system and to keep us on the path to recovery.

And watch me work hard, day in and day out, to be your voice and your champion.

Because that's what this campaign was all about.

Giving voice to the voiceless and making the powerless powerful.

Along the way, we lost some battles and mourned some losses, like the tragic killing of 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton.

I am honored to be joined on stage tonight by Hadiya's parents, Nathaniel and Cleopatra Pendleton.

Nathaniel and Cleopatra, thank you for standing with me as I will stand with you in our fight to end gun violence.

I am awed and inspired by the strength of families like the Pendletons and, unfortunately, far too many others, who are working to turn tragedy into triumph.

Together, we grieved but we never gave up.

We never lost hope and we never stopped fighting.

And we never will.

Because, after all, you don't overcome challenges by seeing them as too great to conquer.

You overcome them by always reaching a little higher, by dreaming a little bigger, and by believing that the stars above us ARE WITHIN our grasp when we reach for them together.

Thank you and God Bless.


This is for City of Chicago only -- suburban Cook, Will and Kankakee are also part of the 2nd congressional district. But this is a snapshot.

U.S. Representative, 2nd District
80 out of 170 precincts (47.06 %)

DEM - Robin Kelly 5,543 90.60 %
REP - Paul McKinley 342 5.59 %
GRN - LeAlan M. Jones 92 1.50 %
IND - Curtiss Llong Bey 32 0.52 %
IND - Marcus Lewis 44 0.72 %
IND - Elizabeth ''Liz'' Pahlke 65 1.06 %


A Tea Party group threw a few crumbs at Republican candidate Paul McKinley in the waning days of the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.

The Washington D.C.-based Tea Party Leadership Fund, spent about $18,000 on McKinley for online ads and calls, according to FEC reports.

The contributions are a pittance when put up against the more than $2.2 million that the Independence USA political action committee spent in the primary to boost Robin Kelly, a Democrat.

The election for Jesse Jackson's old seat is Tuesday.

Since a heated Democratic primary race -- believed to be the biggest hurdle for the candidate -- Kelly has kept a low profile. Though the race was intense, Kelly won decisively.

The 2nd congressional district, which stretches from Chicago's South Shore to Kankakee, is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PAC backed Kelly after she emerged as the leading candidate for gun-control.
McKinley has a different view on the matter.
"We are kidding ourselves if we think disarming law-abiding citizens will prevent the urban slaughter that is happening on our streets," McKinley says in a campaign message on his web site.

alriley.jpegWhile Jesse Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson Jr. resigned respectively from Congress and the City Council before pleading guilty to federal charges, there were still some loose ends to tie up.

Now the two have been replaced in their political duties as committeemen.

Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios said the spots -- Jackson Jr.'s role as Democratic State Central Committeeman and Sandi Jackson's spot as 7th Ward Committeeman are filled.

State Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields) is the new Democratic State Central committeeman from the 2nd congressional district. Ald. Natashia Holmes, who replaced Sandi Jackson on the City Council, also replaces her as 7th ward committeeman.

"I was appointed to serve his unexpired term," Riley said. The term runs concurrently with the congressman's, so it will be up in 2014, he said. "They are charged ... with promoting the tenets, in my case, in the Democratic party throughout the state, and involving themselves where appropriate in slate-making and policy making for the state of Illinois."

The Democratic State Central Committee consists of two people from every congressional district, one male, one female, Riley said. (The other in the 2nd district is Ald. Carrie Austin).

"It's a very important position with off-year elections coming up in 2014," Riley said. Not to mention with the presidential election coming up, committeemen often serve as delegates for the national convention, he added. "They provide endorsements where they decide to do it with the state races. When those people run, you typically will hear what the Democratic State Committee is thinking about or what they're doing."


Numbers released by state board of elections show that the suburban portions of the 2nd congressional district hold 75 percent of registered voters in the 2nd congressional district.

There's about 120,000 voters in the City of Chicago, making up less than 27 percent of the registered voters.

Of course, this special election is all about who actually shows up to the polls.

Here's the data:

Voter Registration Data
Total: Approximately 448,000 registered voters in the 2nd Congressional District
About 120,000 (26.8%) in 170 precincts in Chicago
About 231,000 (51.6%) in 263 precincts in South Suburban Cook County
About 32,000 (7.1%) in 27 precincts in South Suburban Will County
About 65,000 (14.5%) in 85 precincts in South Suburban Kankakee County

As for early voting, here's the numbers in the City, according to the Chicago Board of Elections

Early Voting in Chicago
Chicago saw 2,768 use early voting as of close Saturday (2.3% of those registered).
In the 2009 Special Primary, Chicago had 1.3% of those registered use Early Voting.

Absentee Voting in Chicago
Approximately 690 have either used or applied to use some other form of absentee voting/nursing home voting/grace period voting. There are 28 applications from military/overseas.

ELECTION DAY: Need a roadmap? Click here and get the details

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Just last week Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty to looting his campaign fund. Today, the special election to replace him has arrived.
Here's a list of the candidates who remain active in the race. There's 18 in all.
Toi Hutchinson will appear on the ballot but the Illinois state senator bowed out of the race earlier this month.

Want to know where to vote?
Finding Your Polling Place in the 2nd Congressional District
For Chicago voters: www.chicagoelections.com/voterinfo.php
For Suburban Cook County voters: http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/voterprofile/Pages/default.aspx
For Suburban Will County voters: https://www.thewillcountyclerk.com/connect/site/publicpages/PrecinctFinder.jsp
For Suburban Kankakee County voters: http://www.kankakeecountyclerk.com/polling-places.html

Voter Registration Data, according to the State Board of Elections
Total: Approximately 448,000 registered voters in the 2nd Congressional District
About 120,000 (26.8%) in 170 precincts in Chicago
About 231,000 (51.6%) in 263 precincts in South Suburban Cook County
About 32,000 (7.1%) in 27 precincts in South Suburban Will County
About 65,000 (14.5%) in 85 precincts in South Suburban Kankakee County


Want to know some history of the race?

Here's some links:

-- New York City Mayor Bloomberg's SuperPac, Independence USA, launches media campaign against Debbie Halvorson because of her past high rating with the NRA. Halvorson calls ad "act of desperation" and inaccurate.


kelly.jpg
Robin Kelly

-- Robin Kelly's gun-centric campaign gains steam as she notches numerous endorsements, including of congresspeople -- and eventually of Independence USA, Bloomberg's committee.

-- Halvorson accuses New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of trying to buy 2nd district with attack ads.

photo-26.JPG
Halvorson talks to volunteers at her Steger, Ill. campaign office on Monday.

photo-27.JPG
Anthony Beale talks to a potential voter on Monday on Chicago's South Side.


-- First sign of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s federal troubles

-- A top candidate Toi Hutchinson drops out nine days before election.

-- Anthony Beale claims he was asked to bow out too, but refuses.

-- Vast field in race for 2nd district.

-- Last-minute pitches in the race for first.

By Natasha Korecki
Political Reporter
@natashakorecki

Candidates for the 2nd congressional race to replace disgraced former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. crisscrossed the vast, diverse South Side and south suburban district on Monday, giving last-minute pitches to turn voters their way.
Low voter turnout is already expected in the special election, but a forecast of snow on voting day had candidates worried even fewer people go to the polls.
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) was outside of a South Side Jewel grocery store on 87th Street, passing out flyers to customers and even running up to cars that slowed as they passed.
"I need your vote tomorrow!" he yelled out.
Beale said he planned a full day that would mean visits throughout the district, ending in Kankakee.
"We're the only campaign with a ground game," Beale claimed. "They're running their campaign from behind a computer," he said of his biggest rival, Robin Kelly. But Beale said it was impossible to count the number of doors his people had knocked on.
Kelly's campaign says it knows its numbers, claiming to have 200 people scattered in the field and having knocked on 110,000 doors since January.
"We have a massive, massive field operation," said Kelly spokesman Jonathan Blair.
At a campaign stop at BJ's Market & Bakery, 87th and Stony Island, Kelly said she began early shaking hands at train stations and she would circle back to the stops by day's end.
"I'm kind of known for the trains. I did it as a state rep...That's like, my claim to fame," she said. Door knocking and phone banks would also continue. "The troops and myself are working really hard."
Candidate Debbie Halvorson, a onetime U.S. Rep., meanwhile, swung through the district, making stops in Chicago Heights, then heading back to her campaign office in Steger. Halvorson was to head to Kankakee by day's end.