The vice president is weighing in on Illinois’ Second Congressional District race. Vice President Joe Biden argued Wednesday that the primary election victory of a gun control advocate to represent Illinois in Congress sends a message that voters won’t stand for inaction in response to shooting violence after the Connecticut school shooting.
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Robin Kelly was nominated Tuesday as the Democratic candidate for the vacant seat in the Second Congressional District after running on gun control. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political fund spent $2 million on television ads against an opponent who had been highly rated by the National Rifle Association.
“For the first time since Newtown, voters sent a clear unequivocal signal,” Biden told state attorneys general gathered in Washington. “The voters sent a message last night, not just to the NRA but to the politicians all around the country by electing Robin Kelly, who stood up, who stood strong for gun safety totally consistent with our Second Amendment rights. The message is there will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction. This is not 1994. People know too much.”
In 1994, Congress passed an assault weapons ban and some lawmakers who supported it paid an electoral price by being voted out of office. But Biden argued the December shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 students and six workers has changed the gun debate in a way he has never seen.
In the Republican primary, a winner has not been declared, though Paul McKinley, with 955 votes, holds a 23-vote lead in a five-way race with 100 percent of precincts reporting. There may still be uncounted absentee ballots.