Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has set the dates for a special election to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D). The primary will take place Feb. 26, and the general election is currently set for March 19.
The primary is on the same date as previously scheduled municipal primary elections, saving the state some expense. But state law mandates that a special election be held within 115 days of a congressional vacancy, so the general election could not be scheduled for the same date as the municipal races (April 9). Quinn said he would work with legislators to change the state law so that both elections can be held in April.
Jackson resigned on Nov. 21, acknowledging that he is under federal investigation of public corruption and ending a once-promising political career. Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D), who lost in a primary to Jackson earlier this year, is running for the seat.
Among the other names being mentioned as contenders for the safe Democratic seat are Jackson’s wife, Chicago Alderwoman Sandi Jackson (D), Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly (D), state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D) and state Sen. Napoleon Harris (D), a former football player at Northwestern University and in the NFL.