By LINDSAY WELBERS
South Hyde Parkers had the opportunity to cast their ballots on Tuesday Feb., 26 in the primary for the House seat formerly occupied by Jesse Jackson Jr.
Robin Kelly, former Illinois state representative and Chief Administrative Officer under Toni Preckwinkle, sailed to reelection Tuesday receiving 79 percent of Hyde Parkers’ votes in the Democrat primary.
“You sent a message that was heard around our state and across the nation — A message that tells the (National Rifle Association) that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end,” Kelly said in her acceptance speech.
Only a small portion of Hyde Park overlaps into the Second Congressional District. Just 639 of the 2803 eligible voters cast their ballots in the Democrat primary. Low turnout was blamed on the election being a primary, which typically sees lower turnout than presidential elections, coupled with a snowstorm that created a slushy, wet mess.
One term former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson garnered 7 percent of Hyde Parkers’ votes. Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) received 6 percent. Joyce Washington received 4 percent of the total votes cast.
Kelly benefitted from $2 million dollars donated by the Independence USA Super PAC, a political action committee headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
She will face Republican nominee Paul McKinley in the April 9 special election. McKinley narrowly won across the 2nd Congressional district by 23 votes, defeating Eric M. Wallace.
Only 14 Republican ballots were cast in Hyde Park on Election Day. Wallace won among Hyde Park Republicans, receiving five votes. McKinley tied Lenny McAllister with three votes each. James Taylor received two votes and Beverly Reid received one.