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Congresswoman Robin Kelly makes modern history in Illinois By Cassiette West-Williams

Congresswoman Robin Kelly

In a tight competitive political race between two African American women politicians, a Bradley alumnus came out victorious during women’s history month. Congresswoman Robin Kelly is now the reigning leader of the Illinois Democratic Party (IDP).

She replaced Michael Madigan, who served as chair of the Illinois Democratic Party from 1998 to February 2021, and held control in state government until the recent resignation of his position.

Congresswoman Kelly powered through the vote, earning 52% of her constituent’s support, while Chicago City Councilwoman Michelle Harris captured 48 percent of the vote. Kelly had the endorsement of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), while Harris had the endorsement of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

“Robin spent 20 years in Peoria. She’s traveled to every corner of Illinois as a statewide candidate. And she represents a district that’s urban, suburban, and rural,” said Durbin, in a prepared statement.

Congresswoman Kelly said that she looks forward to working with the entire state, IDP fundraising and other activities that the Illinois chair is expected to be involved in through the state.