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House candidate in Chicago says gun violence prompted her to run

Kina Collins, congressional candidate for Illinois’ 7th District, told Hill.TV that her newly launched campaign is focusing on failed leadership in Washington on public policy issues like gun control.

“My impetus for running is to say that people in Washington, D.C., and nationally have used Chicago as a political punching bag when we talk about gun violence. If you’re going to talk about gun violence, then you need to talk about the failed leadership and the failed public policy that has not come in to help people,” said Collins, who is challenging longtime Rep. Danny DavisDaniel (Danny) K. DavisHouse candidate in Chicago says gun violence prompted her to run Longtime Illinois Rep. Danny K. Davis gets Justice Democrats-backed primary challenger Democrats have a growing tax problem with SALT MORE in the 2022 Democratic primary.

Collins described her “ground zero” and gun control priorities as rooted in her background growing up in the South Austin neighborhood of Chicago.

“I’m homegrown talent in the Illinois 7th. I’ve lived in this district my entire life. People know me,” said Collins, who unsuccessfully challenged Davis last year, when she garnered 13.8 percent of the vote to Davis’s 61.4 percent in a four-person primary.

Davis was first elected to Congress in 1996. He won reelection last year with more than 80 percent of the vote in November.

Collins said voters want elected officials who are “unbought” and “unbossed,” citing her decision not to take any donations from corporations. Those campaign finance decisions connect to her endorsement from Justice Democrats, which has supported progressive agendas and only backs candidates who pledge not to accept any corporate PAC funds.

Justice Democrats in 2018 backed the original members of “the squad”: progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: 'Old way of politics' influences Manchin's thinking Ocasio-Cortez: Senate Democrats 'blocking crucial items in a Democratic agenda' The Memo: Democratic tensions will only get worse as left loses patience MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarThe Memo: Democratic tensions will only get worse as left loses patience Simmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Pelosi signals no further action against Omar MORE (D-Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias House candidate in Chicago says gun violence prompted her to run Labor secretary faces questions from Democrats in police chief controversy MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats MORE (D-Mich.).

“I think Justice Democrats thought they just needed to help me build out an infrastructure and we build off of that grassroots work that we have in the district. I raised the least amount of money out of all the candidates and came in second” in 2020, Collins said, adding that she would like to join the squad if elected to Congress next year.

“They’ve shifted the paradigm of what leadership looks like in the nontraditional candidate who could, you know, run for office and represent your district. I think that they’ve also bucked against the status quo and have questioned leadership and are asking them to answer really hard questions that people all across this country, mainly and particularly working class families want answered.”