CHICAGO (AP) — The first batch of candidates hoping to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has filed paperwork with state election officials.

More than half a dozen Democrats turned in candidacy petitions Thursday to the Illinois Board of Elections.

The primary for the April 9 special election is Feb. 26.

The candidates include former Congressman Mel Reynolds, former state Rep. Robin Kelly, Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson and Napoleon Harris, who was recently elected to the state Senate.

The heavily-Democratic 2nd District includes parts of Chicago’s South Side and suburbs. There are approximately 420,000 registered voters in the district.

Jackson resigned in November after holding the seat for 17 years. He cited his health and acknowledged he’s under federal investigation.

The filing period for established party candidates ends Monday.

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