Amid fears in some circles that former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill., could emerge from a crowded primary field as the Democratic nominee to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in a special election this spring, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC is out with a new ad highlighting her "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.
"Debbie Halvorson -- when it comes to preventing gun violence, she gets an F," says the ad's voiceover.
Halvorson is among the frontrunners in a 17-candidate primary in Illinois's Second Congressional District, which includes some neighborhoods in Chicago plagued by gun violence. But Halvorson is the only candidate who has spoken against added gun control measures, telling Politico earlier this week, "I'm not willing to change my stance" on gun issues. Previously, Halvorson has opposed a ban on semiautomatic weapons, which is a key part of the Obama administration's gun-law package.
Bloomberg's PAC had a mixed record with its 2012 campaign involvement -- ousting Reps. Joe Baca, D-Calif., and Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., while failing to beat Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., and now-Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the group was launching "a 'significant' TV and cable ad campaign," but the group declined to disclose details of the size of the ad buy.