Kelly has been most aggressive on the gun issue, earning her endorsements from U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, two Chicago Democrats from neighboring districts. On Tuesday, she was to be Rush's guest for the State of the Union address.
Kelly launched a TV ad last week touting her anti-gun record, which includes working with Obama on legislation in the Illinois General Assembly a decade ago.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face the Republican primary winner in the April 9 special general election.
If Kelly prevails, Rose said, "I think it will be kind of a signal of what's ahead in 2014."