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Jackson Says More Likely Than Not

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Chicago’s 2007 mayoral race continues to heat up, even though the election is still nearly six months away.

Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior yesterday moved closer to declaring his candidacy.

Jackson says more likely than not, he’s running, but he’s still getting all the ducks a row.

As of yesterday, the 11-year congressman was launching an exploratory committee, which “will have to meet several goals” in order for him to run.

The main goals include 4 to 6 million dollars in campaign promises. Jackson, with a loose allusion to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s campaign, also says he wants a voter registration drive and at least 100,000 new voters.

Still standing outside his South Side home yesterday, Jackson was definitely talking like a candidate and, as he’s never been shy to do, taking direct shots at Mayor Richard Daley. “Forty-one people indicted in this administration,” said Jackson. “The taxpayers are footing the bill for waste, fraud and abuse.”

In contrast to Court Clerk Dorothy Brown when she declared last week, Jackson not only talked about Daley by name, he connected corruption scandals to larger inequities.

“The cost of that waste, fraud and abuse can be found,” Jackson said, “in the classroom of every child in this city.”

Jackson says he’s currently recruiting candidates to run with him.

Mayor Daley’s indicated he wants another term - but refuses to say for sure. Yesterday he responded to Jackson’s comments by saying, “There’s plenty of time for politics.”

Former Harold Washington aide Bill “Dock” Walls is also a declared candidate.

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