Debbie Halvorson is a white Democrat, a staunch supporter of The National Rifle Association, and an ex-congresswoman who desperately wants to represent the majority-black district vacated by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
And she could win.
Some black Democrats initially considered Halvorson a longshot candidate, but in politics anything is possible and now folks are wondering if Jackson’s congressional district – which is 54 percent black – will see its first white representative in many years. Some polls show Halverson leading the pack by 16 points.
Jackson, who is under a federal investigation, stepped down last month citing health reasons and a special election has been scheduled for Feb. 26 so voters can elect his replacement. There are 16 other candidates running for Jackson’s seat, all African Americans, but some political observers say the black vote could spilt, which would leave an opening for Halvorson.
Next month’s special election comes as Chicago’s homicide rate hit 500 last year for the first time since 2008. The crime wave in the Windy City is spiraling out of control and some law enforcers claim that Americans have a greater chance of being killed in Chicago than U.S. troops do in Afghanistan.
Each of these Chicago homicides was the result of gun violence.
And it’s getting worse.
Chicago authorities say seven people were killed and six wounded in gun violence in one day just last weekend. Among those killed was a 34-year-old man whose mother had already lost her three other children to shootings in Chicago. Police say Ronnie Chambers, who was his mother’s youngest child, was shot in the head while sitting in a car.
After Shirley Chambers lost her third child to gun violence in 2000, she said she worried about her surviving son, Ronnie.
“I only have one child left,” Chambers told the Chicago Tribune at the time, “and I’m afraid that (the killing) won’t stop until he’s gone too.”
On Monday, President Barack Obama told a group of law enforcement officials that gun control is one of his administration’s top priorities in an effort to save lives and keep young people safe.
“It means passing serious laws that restrict the access and availability of assault weapons and magazine clips that aren’t necessary for hunters and sportsmen and those responsible gun owners who are out there,” Obama said at the White House. “It means that we are serious about universal background checks. It means that we take seriously issues mental health and school safety.”
Obama said that Americans “also recognize that it’s not only the high-profile mass shootings that are of concern here, it’s also what happens on a day-in-day-out basis in places like Chicago or Philadelphia, where young people are victims of gun violence every single day.”
Meanwhile in Chicago, Halverson, a self-proclaimed conservative Democrat, has received support from the NRA in both of her previous races for Congress. So can an NRA-sanctioned candidate who is anti-gun control be a genuine champion for black residents who are deeply concerned about the skyrocketing black-on-black homicide rate in Chicago?
Many black Democrats say Halverson is far too conservative to support gun control legislation – a position backed by most of the black residents in the district that Halverson wants to represent.
“The NRA gives Debbie Halvorson an ‘A’ rating,” Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest and gun control activist in Chicago, told POLITICO. “That tells me she should not be the representative from the 2nd District. If she gets an ‘A’ rating from the NRA, she gets an ‘F’ from me.”
It’s hard to imagine Halvorson representing such a liberal district with such a decidedly conservative ideology. Halvorson admits that she voted with congressional Republicans 88 times between 2009 and 2011.
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck – it’s a duck.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30