Robin Lynne Kelly (born April 30, 1956) is an American politician from Illinois who has served as the U.S. Representative from Illinois’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. A Democrat, Kelly served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007. She then served as chief of staff for Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias until 2010. She was the 2010 Democratic nominee for State Treasurer, but was defeated in the general election. Prior to running for Congress, Kelly served as the Cook County chief administrative officer. After winning the Democratic primary,[1] Kelly won the 2013 special election to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. in the U.S. House of Representatives.[2]

Early life and education

The daughter of a grocer, Robin Lynne Kelly was born in Harlem[3] on April 30, 1956.[4] Hoping to become a child psychologist, she attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois,[3] where she was a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority. At Bradley, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology (1977/1978) and her Master of Arts in counseling (1982).[4] While in Peoria, she directed a “crisis nursery” and worked in a hospital.[3]

She earned her Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University in 2004.[4]

Early career

From 1992 through 2006 she served as a director of community affairs in Matteson.[4]

Illinois House of Representatives

Elections

In 2002, Kelly decided to challenge a ten-year incumbent Illinois state representative in the Democratic primary. In November, she defeated Republican Kitty Watson 81%–19%[5]

In 2004, she won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican Jack McInerney, 86%–14%.[6] In 2006, she won re-election to a third term unopposed.[7]

Committee assignments

  • Appropriations-Human Services
  • Housing & Urban Development
  • International Trade & Commerce
  • Local Government
  • Mass Transit (Vice-Chairman)
  • Para-transit
  • Whole[8]

State and county government

In January 2007, she resigned her house seat to become chief of staff to Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. She was the first African-American woman to serve as chief of staff to an elected constitutional statewide officeholder.[citation needed] Robin was appointed to become chief administrative officer for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle in 2011.

2010 Illinois treasurer election

In 2010, Kelly ran for Illinois treasurer. In the Democratic primary, she defeated founding member and senior executive of the Transportation Security Administration Justin Oberman, 58%–42%. She won most of the counties in the state, including Cook County with 59% of the vote.[9][10]

In the November general election, Republican State Senator Dan Rutherford defeated her 50%–45%. She won just six of the state’s 102 counties: Cook (62%), Alexander (52%), Gallatin (51%), St. Clair (50%), Calhoun (49%), and Rock Island (48%) counties.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives

Kelly’s first Congressional portrait (113th congress)

2013 congressional election

Kelly entered the field for Illinois’s 2nd congressional district after Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned just three weeks after being elected to a tenth term. On February 11, 2013, two Chicago-based Democratic congressmen, Bobby Rush and Danny K. Davis, endorsed her.[12]

On February 13, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky endorsed Kelly.[13] A few days later, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed her and committed $2 million in TV ads supporting her by highlighting Kelly’s opposition to the National Rifle Association. She was also endorsed by the Chicago Tribune.[14] On February 17, State Senator Toi Hutchinson decided to drop out to endorse Kelly.

On February 26, she won the Democratic primary in the heavily Democratic, black-majority district with 52% of the vote.[15][16] In the April 9th general election, she defeated Republican community activist Paul McKinley and a variety of independent candidates with around 71% of the vote.[2]

Tenure

Kelly took office on April 9, 2013,[4] and was sworn in on April 11, 2013.[17]

Committee assignments

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, members Steve Chabot and Robin Kelly in 2017 celebrate legislation to help educate more girls

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Kelly lives in Matteson with her husband, Nathaniel Horn.[3]

Electoral history

Illinois 38th State House District Democratic Primary, 2002[20]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly 10,870 56.04
DemocraticHarold Murphy (incumbent)8,52643.96
Total votes19,396 100.0
Illinois 38th State House District General Election, 2002[21]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly 26,739 80.95
RepublicanCatherine (Kitty) Watson6,29219.05
Total votes33,031 100.0
Illinois 38th State House District Democratic Primary, 2004[22]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 16,028 81.74
DemocraticJonathan J. Jordan3,58018.26
Total votes19,608 100.0
Illinois 38th State House District General Election, 2004[23]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 41,837 86.15
RepublicanJack McInerney6,72713.85
Total votes48,564 100.0
Illinois 38th State House District General Election, 2006[24]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 30,862 100.0
Total votes30,862 100.0
Illinois State Treasurer Democratic Primary, 2010[25]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly 472,494 57.92
DemocraticJustin P. Oberman343,30742.08
Total votes815,801 100.0
Illinois State Treasurer General Election, 2010[26]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Dan Rutherford 1,811,293 49.68
DemocraticRobin Kelly1,650,24445.26
GreenScott K. Summers115,7723.18
LibertarianJames Pauly68,8031.89
Total votes3,646,112 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District Special Democratic Primary, 2013[27]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly 31,079 53.27
DemocraticDeborah “Debbie” Halvorson14,65025.11
DemocraticAnthony A. Beale6,45711.07
DemocraticJoyce W. Washington2,5634.39
DemocraticErnest B. Fenton1,5452.65
DemocraticAnthony W. Williams6411.10
DemocraticMel “Mr” Reynolds4590.79
DemocraticClifford J. Eagleton2070.35
DemocraticFatimah N. Muhammad1940.33
DemocraticGregory Haynes1440.25
DemocraticLarry D. Pickens1270.22
DemocraticJohn Blyth1040.18
DemocraticVictor Jonathan910.16
DemocraticCharles Rayburn740.13
DemocraticDenise Anita Hill40.01
Total votes58,339 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District Special General Election, 2013[28]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly 58,834 70.72
RepublicanPaul McKinley18,38722.10
IndependentElizabeth “Liz” Pahlke2,5253.04
GreenLeAlan M. Jones1,5311.84
IndependentMarcus Lewis1,3591.63
IndependentCurtiss Llong Bey5480.66
Write-in votesSteve Piekarczyk90.01
Total votes83,193 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District General Election, 2014[29]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 160,337 78.49
RepublicanEric M. Wallace43,79921.44
Write-in votesMarcus Lewis1300.06
Total votes204,266 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2016[30]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 115,752 73.92
DemocraticMarcus Lewis25,28016.14
DemocraticCharles Rayburn9,5596.10
DemocraticDorian C.L. Myrickes6,0023.83
Total votes156,593 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District General Election, 2016[31]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 235,051 79.81
RepublicanJohn F Morrow59,47120.19
Total votes294,522 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2018[32]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 80,659 82.05
DemocraticMarcus Lewis17,64017.95
Total votes98,299 100.0
Illinois 2nd Congressional District General Election, 2018[33]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Robin Kelly (incumbent) 190,684 81.06
RepublicanDavid Merkle44,56718.94
Total votes235,251 100.0

See also

References

  1. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (February 26, 2013). “Kelly wins amid Bloomberg ad blitz”. Politico. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b “Illinois Special Election Results”. Politico.
  3. ^ a b c d Skiba, Katherine (April 14, 2013). “Robin Kelly hopes to change legacy of 2nd District seat”. Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ a b c d e “Kelly, Robin L.” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  5. ^ “IL State House 038 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 5, 2002. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  6. ^ “IL State House 038 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 2, 2004. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  7. ^ “IL State House 038 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 7, 2006. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  8. ^ “Illinois General Assembly – Senator Biography”. Ilga.gov. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  9. ^ “IL Treasurer – D Primary Race”. Our Campaigns. February 2, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  10. ^ “2012 General Election Results: U.S. President”. Elections.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  11. ^ “IL Treasurer Race”. Our Campaigns. November 2, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  12. ^ Paicely, Christopher (February 11, 2013). “Congressmen Davis and Rush Endorse Robin Kelly: 2nd District Race – Government – Chicago Heights, IL Patch”. Chicagoheights.patch.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  13. ^ McClelland, Edward (February 13, 2013). “Jan Schakowsky Endorses Robin Kelly”. NBC Chicago. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  14. ^ “Bloomberg PAC endorses Robin Kelly in new Illinois special election ad”. Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  15. ^ “Robin Kelly wins rival Toi Hutchinson’s support in Illinois race”. Politico.com. February 19, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  16. ^ “Illinois Special Election Results 2013 – District Results, Live Updates”. Politico.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  17. ^ [1] Archived April 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ “Membership”. Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  19. ^ @GideonResnick (July 19, 2018). “Up to 70 members now” (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ “Election Results 2002 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  21. ^ “Election Results 2002 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  22. ^ “Election Results 2004 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  23. ^ “Election Results 2004 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  24. ^ “Election Results 2006 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  25. ^ “Election Results 2010 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  26. ^ “Election Results 2010 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  27. ^ “Election Results 2013 SPECIAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  28. ^ “Election Results 2013 SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  29. ^ “Election Results 2014 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  30. ^ “Election Results 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  31. ^ “Election Results 2016 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  32. ^ “Election Results 2018 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  33. ^ “Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jesse Jackson Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois’s 2nd congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Karen Yarbrough
Acting
Chair of the Illinois Democratic Party
2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Roger Williams
United States representatives by seniority
199th
Succeeded by
Jason T. Smith