WBEZ | donnie trotter http://www.wbez.org/tags/donnie-trotter Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois state lawmaker arrested with pistol at O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-state-lawmaker-arrested-pistol-ohare-104217 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="Donne Trotter mug shot" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TROTTER%20Donne%20crop.jpg" style="float: right; height: 374px; width: 250px;" title="Sen. Donne Trotter's mug shot. (Chicago Police)" />Veteran Illinois State Sen. Donne Trotter faces felony gun charges after getting caught with a handgun while going through security at O&#39;Hare International Airport on Wednesday morning, according to the Chicago Police Department.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The 62-year-old Trotter, who has been considered a strong candidate in the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/whos-running-congress-special-election-replace-jackson-jr-2nd-district-104109">special election</a> to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress, was caught at the airport with an unloaded .25 caliber handgun in his carry on bag, along with a clip of ammunition at around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday. Trotter, a part-time security guard, told Transportation Security Administration agents he forgot to unpack his bag after work. He did have a valid firearm owner&#39;s ID card, according to police.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Trotter faces a felony charge of attempting to board an airplane with a firearm. He&#39;s currently in custody of the Chicago police and&nbsp;is expected in Cook County bond court on Thursday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Trotter didn&#39;t immidiately return messages Wednesday afternoon.</div><p>According to the website <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20121205/ohare/state-senator-charged-with-felony-for-packing-pistol-at-ohare" target="_blank">DNAinfo</a>, which first reported the arrest, Trotter was on his way to Washington D.C. He told WBEZ last week he was headed there for a national conference of black state lawmakers, and to tap his allies in Congress to hook him up with possible campaign donors for his 2nd Congressional District campaign.</p><p>Politically, Trotter&rsquo;s arrest couldn&rsquo;t have come at a worse time.</p><p>On Dec. 15, Democratic Party bosses from the 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Chicago&#39;s South Side and south suburbs, are set to meet at a slate-making session in hopes of endorsing a single candidate for the Feb. 26 primary. Trotter, a long-time state senator, has said he was close to having the backing of enough party bosses to become the Democrats&#39; anointed candidate &ndash; a much sought-after endorsement in a crowded race.</p><p>&ldquo;It was gonna be interesting at slate-making how it was,&rdquo; Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios said Wednesday. &ldquo;Now this just throws a little bit more ammo into the decision.&rdquo;</p><p>Berrios said the arrest will certainly cause headaches for Trotter during the congressional race, and could prompt some committeemen to step back from their support for his bid.</p><p>&ldquo;Those are things that candidates have to deal with, and when they make a mistake, they have to own up to it,&rdquo; Berrios said.</p><p>He declined to say whether Trotter should drop out of the race.</p><p>As of Wednesday afternoon, the large field of candidates running to replace Jackson seemed to be holding off on attacking Trotter for the incident.</p><p>&ldquo;Obviously it&rsquo;s not a good thing to have a gun on a plane,&rdquo; said former Congressman Mel Reynolds, who is one of at about a dozen candidates who say they&rsquo;re running in the April 9 special election.</p><p>&ldquo;I can tell you this about Senator Trotter: He&rsquo;s not a bad guy, never has been a bad guy, and people make mistakes,&rdquo; said Reynolds, who resigned from his 2nd Congressional District seat in 1995 after being convicted of having a sexual relationship with a teenage campaign worker.</p><p>Some contenders in the race declined to comment, including Illinois State Sen. Toi Hutchison and Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, both Democrats.</p><p>Other Democrats running for the open seat include former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson; 9th Ward Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale; Pastor Anthony Williams; and State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris, a former NFL linebacker. Lenny McAllister, a pundit and former Chicago radio show host, is so far the lone Republican in the race.</p><p>Trotter recently announced that he would run for Congress, seeking the seat vacated by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/rep-jesse-jackson-jr-resigns-congress-103969">former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.</a> Trotter previously ran for Congress in 2000, a race in which both he and then-state Sen. Barack Obama lost to U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush.</p><p>Trotter served in the Illinois House from 1988 to 1993, and since then in the Illinois Senate. Under former Senate President Emil Jones, he was the Senate Democrats&#39; budget negotiator, known as a cool, calm presence in the often-contentious budget debates during the tenure of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is now imprisoned on corruption charges.</p><p>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</p></p> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 14:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-state-lawmaker-arrested-pistol-ohare-104217