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Illinois' 2nd Congressional District special election, 2013

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The 2nd congressional district of Illinois will hold a special election for the U.S. House of Representatives on April 9, 2013. The primary date has been set for February 26. The election date was initially set for March 19 but Governor Pat Quinn got unanimous approval from state lawmakers for legislation that would allow the election to coincide with the municipal elections on April 9.[1][2]

The filing deadline was on January 7, 2013.

The election is being held to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D).[3]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
January 7, 2013
February 26, 2013
April 9, 2013


Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Rumored but did not file

Democratic Party Sam Adam, Jr., Chicago attorney.
Democratic Party Donne Trotter, state senator
Democratic Party Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President[7]
Democratic Party Jonathan Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr.'s brother
Independent Marcus Lewis, 2012 candidate

Race background

Jackson resigned on November 21, 2012, citing medical issues. Jackson had been away from work since June and seeking treatment for bipolar disorder and depression at Mayo Clinic. He also noted a federal investigation into his campaign spending.[8] Despite his prolonged absence, Jackson easily won re-election in the 2012 election.

On December 15, 2012, Cook County Democratic officials failed to give any candidate a majority of the votes in their slating session. Thus, no candidate will be receiving the backing of the Democratic party in the primary, in the form of campaign donations and volunteers. State Senator Donne Trotter appeared to be a frontrunner, but his recent arrest for taking a gun into O'Hare International Airport may have been the reason for his failure to receive the support of the Democratic Party.[9]

Robin Kelly won the ballot position lottery and will appear first on the Democratic primary ballot. The next four positions are as follows: Clifford Eagleton, Napoleon Harris, Toi Hutchinson, and Anthony Beale. In a separate lottery, Joyce Washington won the bottom spot on the ballot.[10]

On January 28, 2013, Toi Hutchinson received the endorsement of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.[11]

Gun control has come to the forefront in the race with a tv ad tageting Debbie Halvorson and her prior voting record with respect to guns. The ad comes from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC, Independence USA.[12] Some in the field are upset by this external influence, including Clifford Eagleton (D). In a press release submitted to Ballotpedia he says, "“As a citizen and as a candidate I am outraged and alarmed after viewing the 'super PAC' attack ad last night against one of my opponents. This arrogant, brutish well-polished propaganda is meant to confuse and persuade our citizens with misinformation, thereby corrupting the election.” He went on to speak out against the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, stating that it needs to be overturned or legislation needs to be passed "to protect the integrity of elections and democracy in America."[13]


Illinois' 3rd Congressional District, Democratic primary
Poll Debbie Halvorson Toi HutchinsonRobin KellyNapoleon HarrisMel ReynoldsAnthony BealeOtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Normington-Petts (January 8-10)
GBA Strategies (January 3-7)
AVERAGES 20.5% 14% 11.5% 8% 7.5% 7.5% 3.5% 27.5% +/-4.65 450
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

District History


The 2nd congressional district of Illinois held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Jesse Jackson Jr. won re-election in the district.[14]

U.S. House, Illinois District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJesse Jackson Jr. Incumbent 63.3% 188,303
     Republican Brian Woodworth 23.2% 69,115
     Independent Marcus Lewis 13.5% 40,006
Total Votes 297,424
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"


On November 2, 2010, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Isaac C. Hayes (R) and Anthony W. Williams (G) in the general election.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 2nd Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJesse L. Jackson, Jr. Incumbent 80.5% 150,666
     Republican Isaac C. Hayes 13.8% 25,883
     Green Anthony W. Williams 5.6% 10,564
Total Votes 187,113

See also

External links


  1. Chicago Sun-Times, " March 19 set for election to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. — for now," November 26, 2012
  2. The Hill, "Illinois House votes for April special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr." November 28, 2012
  3. Times Leader "Jockeying under way to replace Rep. Jackson Jr.," November 22, 2012
  4. Chicago Tribune, "Candidates start filing for Jackson Jr.'s old seat in Congress," January 3, 2013
  5. Roll Call, "Illinois: Democratic Field Solidifies for 2nd District Special Election," December 3, 2012
  6. Chicago Tribune, "Convicted former Rep. Mel Reynolds wants Jackson seat in Congress," November 28, 2012
  7. NBC Chicago "Preckwinkle Running for 2nd Congressional? "Nonsense", December 4, 2012
  8. Huffington Post, " Jesse Jackson Jr. Successor: Debbie Halvorson Announces, Cory Brooks Contemplates Run," November 26, 2012
  9. The Huffington Post, "Jesse Jackson Jr. Special Election: Candidates To Have Open Primary For Congressional Seat," December 15, 2012
  10. Chicago Tribune, "Kelly wins lottery for top spot on ballot to replace Jackson Jr.," January 8, 2013
  11. Roll Call "Illinois: Hutchinson Gets Cook County Board President’s Endorsement," January 28, 2013
  12. Chicago Tribune "Halvorson gun views hit in TV ad from Bloomberg super PAC," January 30, 2013
  13. [Clifford Eagleton press release received via email by Ballotpedia staff on February 4, 2013]
  14. Politico "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"