CHICAGO (CBS) – State Sen. Donne Trotter has decided to end his bid to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
Sources said Trotter has decided not to continue seeking the Democratic nomination for the special election in the 2nd Congressional District, following Jackson’s resignation last month.
Trotter, 62, planned to make a formal announcement on Saturday.
His decision to end his pursuit of Jackson’s vacated seat comes less than a month after he was arrested at O’Hare International Airport, after TSA agents found a handgun and ammunition in a garment bag he was trying to bring through a security checkpoint on his way to a flight to Washington, D.C. Trotter told police he forgot the gun was in his bag, after working a night shift for his security job the night before.
After the arrest, Trotter vowed to say in the race for Jackson’s seat, and earlier this month sought the formal endorsement of Democratic committeemen in the 2nd District, but party leaders were unable to settle on a single candidate from the crowded field of Democrats seeking the seat.
Other candidates still planning to run for the seat are former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, who ran against Jackson in the Democratic primary this year; state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields); Ald. Anthony Beale (9th); former state Rep. Robin Kelly, who ran for State Treasurer two years ago; newly elected state Sen. Napoleon Harris, who won his first term in November, but has yet to be seated; former Congressman Mel Reynolds, who served jail time for a sex crime, and who Jesse Jr. replaced in Congress; flamboyant defense attorney Sam Adam Jr.; and Marcus Lewis, who ran against Jackson earlier this year as an independent candidate.
Any potential Democratic candidate for the seat must gather a minimum of 1,256 signatures on nominating petitions to be eligible for the Feb. 26 special primary election. Petitions can be filed between Jan. 3 and Jan 7.
The special general election for Jackson’s seat is scheduled for April 9.
A Republican candidate would need only 288 signatures to get on the ballot; independent candidates would need as many as 25,095 signatures; and new party candidates would need at least 15,682.