Gun violence focus of Kennedy’s Illinois governor campaign

CHICAGO (AP) — Few candidates for public office have been more personally affected by gun violence than Chris Kennedy.

The Democrat was a child when his father and uncle, Sen. Robert Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, were assassinated.

Now he’s made the issue a centerpiece of his Illinois governor campaign, talking often about growing up without a father and saying too many people in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois are dealing with the same pain.

The move has brought endorsements from African-American leaders and could help Kennedy earn support in the March primary from black voters, who’ve disproportionately hurt by gun violence.

It’s also put him at odds with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and prompted accusations of race baiting, after Kennedy said much violence is due to “strategic” disinvestment in black neighborhoods.