By LINDSAY WELBERS
The election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in the House will take place on April 9. The Illinois House had to approve the date because it fell outside of the 115-day requirement for elections of this kind.
Governor Pat Quinn requested the date be moved to coincide with a previously scheduled election to help save the counties money and improve voter turnout.
The primary election to find party candidates will take place on February 26.
Jackson vacated his seat earlier this month saying, in a statement, “… over the past several months, as my health has deteriorated, my ability to serve the constituents of my district has continued to diminish. Against the recommendations of my doctors, I had hoped and tried to return to Washington and continue working on the issues that matter most to the people of the Second District. I know now that will not be possible.”
Since his resignation many people have thrown their names out there for consideration.
Ald. Will Burns (4th) announced on Friday afternoon that he would not be seeking election to the seat, saying in a statement, “Simply put, my commitment to the people of the Fourth Ward must come before a campaign for Congress.” Pastor Corey Brooks, nicknamed the “Rooftop Pastor” after a vigil he held on the roof of a motel across the street from his West Woodlawn church, also announced Sunday he would not run.
The race is crowded so far. Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson of Crete announced her candidacy for the seat. Jackson defeated her in the spring primary. Former Northwestern and NFL player and State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris has said he will seek election. Harris won his first elected seat on Nov. 6.
Former Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and former State Representative Robin Kelly of Matteson have both announced their intention to seek the seat. Mel Reynolds, who lost the seat following a scandal and who was replaced by Jackson, also has announced plans to run.
Former State senators Donne Trotter of Chicago and Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields have also expressed their intention to run.