WBEZ | special election http://www.wbez.org/tags/special-election Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Toi Hutchinson running for Congress http://www.wbez.org/news/toi-hutchinson-running-congress-104110 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/toi.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois State senator Toi Hutchinson is jumping into the 2nd district congressional race.</p><p>Hutchinson <a href="https://twitter.com/ToiHutchinson/status/274218127309549568" target="_blank">announced today</a> she&rsquo;s joining a growing list of Democrats hoping to fill former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.&rsquo;s seat.</p><p>Hutchinson has represented the South Suburbs in the senate since 2009.</p><p>Before that, she served as Chief of Staff for then Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson.</p><p>Halvorson is also <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/halvorson-run-replace-jackson-104012">running</a> for Jackson&rsquo;s seat.</p><p>A special primary election is set for late February.</p><p>After Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.&#39;s official <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/rep-jesse-jackson-jr-resigns-congress-103969">resignation</a>, lots of Chicago politicians are throwing their hats in the ring for the 2nd Congressional District.</p><p>Follow our <a href="http://pinterest.com/wbez/who-is-and-isn-t-running-for-congress/" target="_blank">Pinterest board</a> to keep tabs on the rumors, official announcements and (soon enough) withdrawals from this special election.</p><p>And stay tuned to WBEZ&#39;s <a href="http://bit.ly/2ndspecialelection" target="_blank">complete coverage</a> of the race.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 13:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/toi-hutchinson-running-congress-104110 Admitting 'mistakes,' Reynolds bids for Jackson's congressional seat http://www.wbez.org/news/admitting-mistakes-reynolds-bids-jacksons-congressional-seat-104061 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/reynolds_crop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds announced Wednesday he&rsquo;s running again for the seat resigned by Jesse Jackson Jr., despite separate convictions for sexual misconduct and bank fraud that ended his earlier congressional career.</p><p>Standing before a red a white campaign sign that read &ldquo;Redemption,&rdquo; Reynolds told reporters that he had made &ldquo;mistakes&rdquo; in the past, but still has a drive for public service.</p><p>&ldquo;When you go through things in life, sometimes you have to stand up, get on your feet again and go forward,&rdquo; Reynolds said.</p><p>Reynolds, a former Rhodes Scholar, was once a rising Democratic star when he was first elected to the 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Chicago&rsquo;s South Side and south suburbs, in 1992. He was re-elected two years later, despite being under indictment for having an alleged sexual relationship with a teenaged campaign volunteer.</p><p>Reynolds resigned his seat in October 1995, after a Cook County jury found him guilty of sexual abuse, child pornography and lying to investigators. He was still in prison in 1997 when he was charged and convicted of bank and campaign finance fraud. Reynolds was ordered to spend more than six years in prison for those crimes, though President Bill Clinton later commuted the sentence.</p><p>Though Reynolds repeatedly referred to his past &ldquo;mistakes&rdquo; on Wednesday, he didn&rsquo;t say whether he was guilty of the crimes that sent him to prison, despite earlier pronouncements of his innocence.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve made the statement that I&rsquo;m going to make regarding 20 years ago,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I made mistakes, and that&rsquo;s it. I&rsquo;m not gonna be &ndash; I&rsquo;m not gonna allow anyone to just stick me in the ground and keep asking the same questions over and over and over again. That&rsquo;s my response.&rdquo;</p><p>The field of candidates who are running &ndash; or publicly considering a run &ndash; for Jackson&rsquo;s old seat seems to grow by the day. Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson made her bid official over the weekend, Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said he&rsquo;s filed paperwork to run, and Pastor Anthony Williams has declared his candidacy. The long list of other Illinois pols who are pondering their own bids includes other Chicago aldermen, state lawmakers and Democratic insiders.</p><p>The next Congressman to represent the heavily Democratic, majority African-American 2nd Congressional District will likely be picked in the Feb. 26 special primary election.</p><p>Governor Pat Quinn has tentatively set the special general election date for March 19th, though he&rsquo;s urging state lawmakers to make an exception to state law and push it back to April 9th, when election officials can save money by putting the congressional seat on the ballot along with other municipal offices.</p></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 08:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/admitting-mistakes-reynolds-bids-jacksons-congressional-seat-104061 Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from Congress http://www.wbez.org/news/rep-jesse-jackson-jr-resigns-congress-103969 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/jackson.jpg" title="(AP/File)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F68337099&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>After a months-long absence from Congress, embattled U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. resigned Wednesday, and acknowledged publicly for the first time that he is under federal investigation.</p><p>&quot;The constituents of the Second District deserve a full-time legislator in Washington, something I cannot be for the foreseeable future,&rdquo; Jackson, 47, wrote in his resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday. &ldquo;My health and treatment regimen have become incompatible with service in the House of Representatives.&rdquo;</p><p>Jackson, who has represented the 2nd Congressional District since 1995, has been on medical leave since June. He&rsquo;s suffering from bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues.</p><p>In his resignation letter Wednesday, Jackson confirmed publicly for the first time that he is under federal investigation. Several news outlets over the last few weeks have reported that the federal probe focuses on spending from the Jackson&rsquo;s campaign account, and has expanded to include his wife, Chicago 7<sup>th</sup> Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson.</p><p>Jackson alluded to those legal troubles in his resignation letter.</p><p>&ldquo;During this journey I have made my share of mistakes,&rdquo; he wrote. &ldquo;I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone.&rdquo;</p><p>Jackson is also the subject of an open U.S. House ethics investigation relating to accusations that he orchestrated a pay-to-play scheme aimed at getting a U.S. Senate seat appointment from imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>He has not faced charges related to the Blagojevich scandal, and has denied any wrongdoing.</p><p>Jackson&rsquo;s resignation will now trigger a special election for the congressional district he held for nearly 17 years, which encompasses parts of Chicago&rsquo;s South Side and the south suburbs. Rumors have been swirling for months about Chicago pols who may run to replace Jackson, and his formal resignation is sure to touch off a flurry of jockeying among politicians who want to represent his heavily Democratic district.</p><p>Pastor Anthony W. Williams, a political amateur and frequent critic of Jackson, released a statement shortly after Wednesday&#39;s news broke saying he plans to run as a Democrat in a special election to replace Jackson.</p><p>&quot;It should have happened a long time ago. But I&rsquo;m glad it has happened. And now the people of the 2nd congressional district can spend time selecting a person of their choice. And I just want to make sure that they get the best and the brightest, the sharpest knife in the drawer,&quot; said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.</p><p>Jackson, the son of civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson Sr. hasn&rsquo;t been charged criminally and has denied wrongdoing. He was once considered a rising star in the Democratic party and a possible Chicago mayoral contender. His wife Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) did not return phone calls on Wednesday.</p><p>Jackson handily won reelection against two political unknowns on Nov. 6 without campaigning outside of a robocall asking voters for patience. He did put out a statement after winning that said: &quot;Once the Doctors approve my return to work, I will continue to be the progressive fighter you have known for years. My family and I are grateful for your many heartfelt prayers and kind thoughts. I continue to feel better everyday and look forward to serving you.&quot;</p><p>Voters did exhibit patience with Jackson but not everyone in his district cast a ballot in his favor. On Election Day South Shore Resident Melvin Jones said he voted for no one.</p><p>&quot;I&rsquo;m just not understanding the illness, something else is involved in it also. He&rsquo;s not answering any questions and he&rsquo;s being real closed-mouth about everything is bothering me,&quot; Jones said.</p><p>In the March primary, Jackson also handily beat former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson in the changed district. The 2nd Congressional District boundaries were redrawn and now extend through the south suburbs and past Kankakee.</p><p>Jackson sat on the House Appropriations Committee, serving as the fourth most senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Jackson&#39;s pet project in the district has been for a third major airport in Peotone. In April, he led a &quot;people&#39;s groundbreaking&quot; on a farm field in Will County despite political opposition.</p><p>At the site, Jackson said: &ldquo;Along the way, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said we must convert our enemies into our friends. They are not really our enemies. Dr. King said they just don&rsquo;t know. So, we&rsquo;re going to help them over time know. Not only those who don&rsquo;t know but we&rsquo;re&nbsp; going to help Rahm Emanuel, who just became mayor of the City of Chicago, we&rsquo;re going to help him know that the North Side of Chicago doesn&rsquo;t get to get everything. The South Side and South suburbs deserve to be just like the North Side and Northwest suburbs.&rdquo;</p><p><em>&mdash;Angelica Robinson contributed to this report.</em></p><p><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/114074854/Jackson" name="letter" style="margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;" title="View Jackson on Scribd">Jackson</a><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.772727272727273" data-auto-height="true" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_33449" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/114074854/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-2j2ihcremynol0atdbwq" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 12:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rep-jesse-jackson-jr-resigns-congress-103969