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Bloomberg super-PAC running ads against Illinois Democrat Halvorson

The pro-gun-control super-PAC bankrolled by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is going after former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) for her support of gun rights, a move that could badly damage her chances at returning to Congress.

Halvorson has clung to a tenuous lead in the Democratic primary so far because of her high name identification in the fractured field. But the deep-pocketed group could prove to be a major player in a district where gun control is highly popular.

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The Feb. 26 Democratic primary will chose the party's nominee to contend in a March special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. In the highly Democratic district, winning the Democratic primary is seen as tantamount to winning the election.

The former congresswoman was endorsed by the National Rifle Association in her last election cycle and has refused to modify her positions since, even though she's now running in a district dominated by South Side Chicago and its nearby suburbs.

"In the race to replace Jesse Jackson, watch out for Debbie Halvorson. When she was in Congress before, Halvorson got an 'A' from the NRA. The NRA: Against comprehensive background checks, against banning deadly assault weapons, against banning high-capacity ammunition clips," the ad's narrator says. "Halvorson even co-sponsored a bill to allow some criminals to carry loaded hidden guns across state lines. Debbie Halvorson — when it comes to preventing gun violence, she gets an 'F.' "

The group is running an ad on both broadcast and cable television. A spokesman declined to say how large the buy was but described it as "significant;" the group spent more than $10 million in the last election on the issue.