Danny K. Davis, left, and Kina Collins. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago; Sarah Matheson

CHICAGO — Longtime U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis faced a strong challenge Tuesday night from anti-gun activist Kina Collins before eventually emerging to win a clear path to another term in Congress.

With 95 percent of precincts counted, the veteran congressman led Collins 52 percent to 45 percent, according to unofficial results. Davis was declared the winner by AP shortly before midnight.

It was a huge swing from Collins’ last run against the 80-year-old Davis. She took him on in 2020 but got just 14 percent of the vote.

But this time, Collins, 31, was backed by a series of national progressive groups and won the fundraising battle. It allowed her to run television ads, the first time a Davis challenger has been able to do that since he first was elected in 1996.

Collins, former executive director of the One Aim Illinois a gun violence prevention group, was ahead in fundraising by more than $150,000 at last count, with money coming in from national progressive groups including Justice Democrats, climate activism group the Sunrise Movement and the National Organization for Women

Davis got a late boost from President Joe Biden, who endorsed the congressman Sunday morning as “an effective leader.”

The 7th Congressional District is a Democratic stronghold that includes Chicago’s West Side and the suburbs of Bellwood, Forest Park, Oak Park, Maywood and Westchester. It’s lean so far to the Democrats, there were no Republicans in Tuesday’s primary, virtually assuring the winning Democrat will be elected in the fall’s general election.

Collins saw strong support in the suburbs, getting 55 percent of the vote.

Davis led in Chicago, with 57 percent of the vote to Collins’ 40 percent, with the third member of the race, Denarvis C. Mendenhall, taking just 3 percent, with 83 percent of precincts counted.

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