|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 2nd district
|Assumed office |
April 11, 2013
|Preceded by||Jesse Jackson Jr.|
|Chair of the Illinois Democratic Party|
|Assumed office |
March 3, 2021
|Preceded by||Michael Madigan|
|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives|
from the 38th district
January 8, 2003 – January 12, 2007
|Preceded by||Harold Murphy|
|Succeeded by||Al Riley|
Robin Lynne Kelly
April 30, 1956
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education||Bradley University (BA, MA)|
Northern Illinois University (PhD)
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 lost the general election. Before running for Congress, Kelly served as the Cook County chief administrative officer. After winning the Democratic primary, she won the 2013 special election to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The daughter of a grocer, Robin Lynne Kelly was born in Harlem on April 30, 1956. Hoping to become a child psychologist, she attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, 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). While in Peoria, she directed a "crisis nursery" and worked in a hospital.
Kelly earned her Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University in 2004.
From 1992 through 2006, Kelly served as a director of community affairs in Matteson.
In 2002, Kelly defeated a ten-year incumbent Illinois state representative in the Democratic primary. In November, she defeated Republican Kitty Watson, 81%–19%.
In 2004, she won reelection to a second term, defeating Republican Jack McInerney, 86%–14%. In 2006, she won reelection to a third term unopposed.
In January 2007, Kelly 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. Kelly was appointed Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle's chief administrative officer in 2011.
See also: 2010 Illinois elections § Treasurer
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.
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%).
Kelly entered the field for Illinois's 2nd congressional district after Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned 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.
On February 13, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky endorsed Kelly. 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. On February 17, State Senator Toi Hutchinson decided to drop out to endorse Kelly.
On February 26, Kelly won the Democratic primary in the heavily Democratic, black-majority district with 52% of the vote. In the April 9 general election, she defeated Republican community activist Paul McKinley and a variety of independent candidates with around 71% of the vote.
Kelly took office on April 9, 2013, and was sworn in on April 11.
Kelly lives in Matteson with her husband, Nathaniel Horn.
|Democratic||Harold Murphy (incumbent)||8,526||43.96|
|Republican||Catherine (Kitty) Watson||6,292||19.05|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||16,028||81.74|
|Democratic||Jonathan J. Jordan||3,580||18.26|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||41,837||86.15|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||30,862||100.0|
|Democratic||Justin P. Oberman||343,307||42.08|
|Green||Scott K. Summers||115,772||3.18|
|Democratic||Deborah "Debbie" Halvorson||14,650||25.11|
|Democratic||Anthony A. Beale||6,457||11.07|
|Democratic||Joyce W. Washington||2,563||4.39|
|Democratic||Ernest B. Fenton||1,545||2.65|
|Democratic||Anthony W. Williams||641||1.10|
|Democratic||Mel "Mr" Reynolds||459||0.79|
|Democratic||Clifford J. Eagleton||207||0.35|
|Democratic||Fatimah N. Muhammad||194||0.33|
|Democratic||Larry D. Pickens||127||0.22|
|Democratic||Denise Anita Hill||4||0.01|
|Independent||Elizabeth "Liz" Pahlke||2,525||3.04|
|Green||LeAlan M. Jones||1,531||1.84|
|Independent||Curtiss Llong Bey||548||0.66|
|Write-in votes||Steve Piekarczyk||9||0.01|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||160,337||78.49|
|Republican||Eric M. Wallace||43,799||21.44|
|Write-in votes||Marcus Lewis||130||0.06|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||115,752||73.92|
|Democratic||Dorian C.L. Myrickes||6,002||3.83|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||235,051||79.81|
|Republican||John F Morrow||59,471||20.19|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||80,659||82.05|
|Democratic||Robin Kelly (incumbent)||190,684||81.06|
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