Robin Kelly has won the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating challenger David Merkle, according to returns as reported by the Associated Press.

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The Sun-Times endorsed Kelly for the 2nd District Congressional seat, saying “she has the makings of an effective leader.”

Kelly, Democrat, was first elected as the representative for the 2nd Congressional District in 2013 and has advocated for better access to healthcare, among other issues. She has also held positions as Cook County Chief Administrative Officer, Office of the State Treasurer Chief of Staff and 38th Legislative District State Representative.

David Merkle is the Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District. He was in the Kankakee County Board from 1990-1999. He owned and operated his own small business and has been a professional photographer for 43 years.

For live election results, visit the Sun-Times election guide.