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Election results: Gun control advocate wins Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat

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"It hurt my heart. I had him way up here on a pedestal," said Robert Pierson, a Dolton resident who cast a ballot for Kelly on Tuesday. "I hope this time we are going to get it right."

Other voters said it was Kelly's attention to anti-gun efforts that made her an attractive candidate. Guns became the top issue during the campaign — particularly before the primary — and ads from Bloomberg's PAC played up that Kelly supports an assault weapons ban. The television spots also targeted one of her primary opponents, former one-term U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who has received favorable ratings from the National Rifle Association.

Some voters, and certainly Kelly's political opponents, questioned the outside involvement. There were allegations of Kelly colluding with Bloomberg, which is prohibited. She dismissed those claims.

However, some voters said Tuesday they didn't mind Bloomberg's involvement, particularly on the issue of guns and violence. The election comes as Chicago has seen an uptick in murders.

"Mayor Bloomberg, he's for right," said 62-year-old suburban Chicago voter Ted Norwood, who cast a vote for Kelly. "He speaks for everybody."

After her primary win, Kelly received praise from Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden, and she recently received an endorsement from President Barack Obama, who noted her anti-gun efforts.

McKinley, 54, had portrayed himself as an anti-establishment candidate, blasting Chicago's machine politics. McKinley is an ex-convict who served prison time for robbery and other charges. On the campaign trail, he talked about his reintegration into society and how it made him a voice for inmates.

He said Tuesday that he wished Kelly good luck.

"The voters have voted, and she must work for the voters and not for the machine," he told the AP.

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