Race To Replace Jackson Could Be ‘Wild, Wild West’

CHICAGO (CBS) — A crowded field could line up to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress, once a special election is set up to fill his seat following his resignation on Wednesday.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports no one knows yet who will take over Jackson’s seat in the 2nd Congressional District. That includes the political guru who helped a young Jesse Jackson Jr. win his seat in congress.

Political consultant Delmarie Cobb, who was once Jackson’s press secretary, said “It’s going to be the Wild Wild West, unfortunately, because you’re going to have about 12 people – at my last count – who are going to throw their names in the race.”

One possible candidate to replace Jackson is former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, who challenged Jackson in the 2012 Democratic primary, but was trounced by the incumbent.

Halvorson she hasn’t decided yet about whether to run for the vacancy, but she said, “Whoever is going to represent the district has to do it in the best interest of the people, and is going to have to hit the ground running from day one.”

Others considering a bid for the seat include another junior – defense attorney Sam Adam Jr., the bombastic and characteristic lawyer who represented the now-jailed former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in his first trial, which ended in a hung jury on all but one count.

Also chewing on a decision, are Jackson’s brother Jonathan, dentist and former Illinois state Rep. David Miller, former state Rep. Robin Kelly, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), state Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), state Senator-elect Napoleon Harris (D-Flossmoor), Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), and Ald. Will Burns (4th).

“There are too many people who are unemployed and underemployed. We know there are too many people who are mired in poverty. I’ve been working on those issues in the state Senate as a staffer, as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives,” Burns said.

Asked if he believes he could win a contest for Jackson’s seat, Burns said, “we’ll see.”

Other possible candidates include Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), state Sen. Donne Trotter

Marcus Lewis, an independent candidate who won only 13 percent of the vote against Jackson in the November election, has also announced he’ll make another bid for the seat.

There’s one more possible candidate. The Chicago Sun-Times reports former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is mulling a run for the seat. He lost his re-election bid to Toni Preckwinkle two years ago.

More from Mike Parker
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