- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
Jackson seat hopefuls taking a stand on guns
Issue could affect other campaigns
Ripples from the deadly shootings in Connecticut are already affecting political campaigns, including a special congressional election in Illinois where a gun rights supporter is calling for tighter gun controls as part of her agenda.
Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, who in the past has won support from the National Rifle Association, is now running for the Chicago seat left vacant by Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., and is supporting a ban on some semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines in the aftermath of the massacre of schoolchildren.
Another candidate, former Illinois state Rep. Robin Kelly, challenged others in the crowded Democratic field to support five gun-control measures, including to “never receive support from organizations that oppose reasonable gun safety legislation.”
The Illinois election is just one of the races looming on the horizon. There could also be special elections in Hawaii and Massachusetts, depending on upcoming personnel decisions by Hawaii’s governor and by President Obama.
Analysts said it’s not clear what role guns would play in those states, where the electorate is liberal and there may not be major differences between candidates on the gun-control issue.
The push for gun control comes a week after a gunman shot and killed 20 students, six adults and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. He also killed his mother at her home.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, an outspoken gun-control advocate, said that in the wake of the shootings, the issue’s resonance could carry over to races at the state legislative level, the 2013 governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey, and beyond.
“I don’t think this is going away,” Mr. Rendell told The Washington Times. “But I also think there’s a real good chance that the Congress will pass” something.
In Chicago, it’s more than just the school shooting that’s driving the issue. Several weeks ago a federal appeals court struck down the state’s ban on concealed weapons, creating the opportunity — or necessity — for candidates to draw distinctions on their support for gun control in the heavily Democratic district.
Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who lost in a primary to Mr. Jackson earlier this year, has received support from the Illinois State Rifle Association and the NRA in the past — and she appears to be a chief target of Ms. Kelly’s challenge to reject the support of gun rights groups.
Ms. Halvorson defended her position, telling Roll Call that she “may” support an assault-weapons ban and that everything should be “on the table.”
“I’m not going to change just because this is a primary with a lot of candidates,” she said.
“Unlike others in this race, I have been a consistent voice in standing up to the National Rifle Association and their shortsighted policies that put our families at risk,” she said.
Those three Democrats will likely be joined by at least four more: former Rep. Mel Reynolds, Alderman Anthony Beale, former NFL player Napoleon Harris, and state Sen. Donne Trotter, who says he forgot he had a gun with him when he tried to board a plane earlier this month and now faces a felony charge.
The Democratic primary is scheduled for Feb. 26, and a special election in the overwhelmingly Democratic district will take place April 9.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP Rep. Tim Murphy rolls out mental health legislation
- George W. Bush to embattled Alabama kicker: You will be stronger
- Black supremacist no longer employed at DHS: report
- Senate pulls all-nighter as GOP protests rules change
- Despite questions, Senate panel backs top Homeland nominee
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow