Illinois: Obama Endorses Robin Kelly in Special Election (Finally)

Kelly won the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Robin Kelly picked up a high-profile, but largely inconsequential, endorsement Tuesday from President Barack Obama.

Kelly is all but assured to win her special-election bid to replace former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill., on April 9. This is a heavily Democratic district, and her GOP opponent, Paul McKinley, is a convicted felon.

“To continue moving America forward, I need partners in the House of Representatives like Robin Kelly," Obama said in a press release from the Kelly campaign. "I have known Robin for many years and I am confident she is the perfect choice to represent the Illinois 2nd Congressional District."

Kelly decisively won the Democratic primary in February. Gun control was the primary issue in the race, as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC spent more than $2 million to boost Kelly in the primary.

Obama's Chicago home is only a few blocks from the 2nd District. The friendship between Kelly and Obama started when they served in the state legislature together.