Weeks ago, Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) attempted to persuade, as best they could, fewer candidates to run for the seat of former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Their efforts were unsuccessful. Twenty two candidates are vying for the seat of Jesse Jackson, Jr., who resigned his seat in Congress the day before Thanksgiving.
Now, polls are coming out that show that Jackson’s former primary opponent, Debbie Halvorson, could win by a small margin as a result of a vote split among the Black candidates in the race. The primary is February 26. Jackson soundly beat Halvorson last year. But a large group of voters are undecided. The internal poll was conducted by State Senator Toi Hutchinson.
The Hill newspaper reported on January 15 that, “Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) holds a narrow lead in a crowded primary field… Halvorson sits at 16 percent, according to the poll, with Hutchinson at 12 percent. Former Cook County Administrator Robin Kelly (D) sits at 8 percent, while state Sen. Napoleon Harris (D) and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale (D) pull 7 percent apiece. Former Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-Ill.), who served time for sex-related charges in the 1990s, takes 5 percent support. Approximately 40 percent of voters remain undecided.”
One particularly amusing entry into the race for Jackson’s congressional seat is Napoleon Harris and former Congressman Reynolds. Harris had just been elected to the Illinois statehouse, hadn’t served one day as a member, but then decided to run for Congress after Jackson resigned. Reynolds is an ex-felon.
This weekend in Chicago, seven people were murdered. In only one month, Chicago is already on pace to top 516 murders in 2013. As the Obama Administration gets set to push gun control in Congress, including background checks and an assault weapons ban, Halvorson, who has an A rating from the NRA, is likely to be against the assault weapons ban and background checks.