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Mayor Bloomberg Scores Win in Chicago Congressional Primary

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg was on a bit of a victory lap after his political action committee, Independence USA, helped Illinois politician Robin Kelly, a gun control advocate, win a hotly contested Democratic congressional primary. 

Bloomberg poured more than $2 million of his own money into that race, running ads against Kelly's leading opponent, former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson. The ads focused on Halvorson’s past support from the National Rifle Association.

The mayor was in Washington Wednesday, meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, to continue his push for gun control. He said Tuesday’s election result was a harbinger of things to come.

Independence USA ad against former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson.

But the NRA argues the results prove nothing. NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox told The Associated Press that Bloomberg "just spent over $2 million to hold arguably the deepest blue seat in the U.S. House, in a race where the NRA spent zero and had no involvement."

Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, said although the NRA supported Halvorson in the past, they didn’t get involved in this race because she’s not as anti-gun control as her opponents claim.

“She was for three out of the four major gun proposals out there,” Sweet said. “It’s going to be a Democratic district no matter what. It just wasn’t an arena for them to get involved in.”

Sweet spoke with WNYC’s Amy Eddings on All Things Considered.

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