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Halvorson joins growing list of Jackson replacement candidates

Monday, Nov 26, 2012

* Considering her history and all the African-American Democrats lining up to run for Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr’s seat, this isn’t much of a surprise

Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson says she’s officially running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.

Halvorson launched her campaign Monday, saying she’s received numerous calls from elected officials, community leaders and residents of the 2nd Congressional District urging her to run. In a statement Monday, Halvorson touts her experience in Congress and says that will allow her to get to work without having to go through freshman orientation, if she’s elected.

Halvorson lost to Jackson in the Democratic primary this year. She’d served in Congress before losing the 2010 election in what was the 11th Congressional District before district lines were redrawn.

* The Tribune reports that Cook County Democratic leaders are hoping to slate a candidate for the post. The list is long. I think I told subscribers about everybody on the Tribune list last week except for Todd Stroger

More primary and general election Democratic votes were cast in the five suburban Cook County townships than in the seven wards in the city located within the congressional district’s boundaries. That could give an edge to a suburban contender, such as state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, an Olympia Fields Democrat in her third year in the General Assembly. […]

Another suburban contender is former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris, of Flossmoor, who was just elected to the state Senate. Harris may have money — he lent his legislative campaign $227,000 — but his Nov. 6 victory was his first for a public office.

Former state lawmakers Robin Kelly of Matteson and David Miller of Lynwood also could be in the mix. Kelly lost a bid for state treasurer and now works in Cook County government while Miller, a dentist, was defeated in a bid for state comptroller. A Jackson ally, Miller said he was exploring a bid and would make a decision on whether to proceed “shortly.”

In the city, Ald. Will Burns, 4th, moved closer on Friday to saying he was in the race. […]

Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, has previously expressed interest in the contest. Though he has not said he plans to run, he already has the backing of Ald. Carrie Austin, the Democratic committeewoman of the 34th Ward.

Also expressing an interest is state Sen. Donne Trotter, a veteran South Side Democratic lawmaker who made a failed bid for Congress in 2000 against Rep. Bobby Rush. Obama suffered his only election defeat in that same primary race.

Among those interested in the special election who are in the voter-discard pile are former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds. Stroger may have name identification but little campaign cash, while Reynolds had been Jackson’s predecessor in Congress before being convicted in a sex scandal involving a 16-year-old campaign aide.

Defense attorney Sam Adam Jr., who represented now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, also has expressed interest in the job.

Then there are the possible Jackson family candidates.

* Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to announce the special election date today. Money and, probably more importantly, name recognition will be the key here. With the Christmas holiday coming up, there won’t be much opportunity to advertise early, so those with the most well-known names will have a distinct advantage.

* Meanwhile

It looks like former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), who resigned Wednesday, is trying to take any potential heat off of his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) — who is also his campaign manager.

I’m told that Sandi Jackson has hired her own legal representation as her husband’s lawyers try to work out a deal in the ongoing federal probe of his campaign finances.

It doesn’t take too much reading between the lines of Jackson’s resignation letter — unusually poignant — that he is telling the feds to blame him — and leave his wife out of it. In the letter, sent Wednesday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Jackson acknowledged the probe for the first time, said he is cooperating with “the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone.”

* Related…

* Jesse Jackson Jr. resignation could cost taxpayers a lot - $5.1 million is price tag for running primary, general elections to fill seat

* Editorial: Allow Jackson district to make real choice

* Kadner: Suburbs must claim Jesse Jackson Jr.’s district

* A Family Business in Disarray

* Rep. Rush: Jackson Jr. ‘crying,’ still ‘can’t take the pressure’ of speaking publicly

- Posted by Rich Miller        


34 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:15 am:

    Sam Adams Jr…

    Come on dude, run, please run….


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    I so want Halvorson to run, so … when she get waxed…. again … we can finally put the “Halvorson back to Congress” bit to bed.

    All things being equal, and even taking into account all the demographics, when you still get only 40% against an absent, sick, Congressman, who is NOT even campaigning, and probably never felt even remotely threatened by you… and you, yourself, were a former congressman, you have to walk away.

    Less we forget how “gracious” Debbie was? Halvorson blamed everyone under the sun and convinced not a single voter, “We should have voted for Debbie, if I has to do it over again”.

    Not. One.

    Go and be a lobbyist, go and run a non-profit, go and be a “talking hairdo”… just … go.

    But I will enjoy Debbie running.

    This will be F.U.N.


  3. - Skeeter - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    An open position? Expect Danny Davis to express interest.

    Oh wait. This may be the only position for which Davis will not circulate petitions.

    But if an aldermanic or maybe even a State Rep seat opens as a result, who knows?


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    I wonder if any of them are tempted to run as a Republican? It could be the path of least resistance to the special general.


  5. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Word-

    Running as an R would be the path of least resistance for a vanity candidate who wanted to see their name in print instead of a victory. Let’s face it, this is not the south suburbs of 1972. Because of IL’s “sour grapes” law, I don’t even see the potential of a D turned I winning the general unless the “wrong” candidate wins the primary and a well-known D comes off the sidelines for the general.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    ===Because of IL’s “sour grapes” law, I don’t even see the potential of a D turned I winning the general unless the “wrong” candidate wins the primary and a well-known D comes off the sidelines for the general.===

    Word? Are you asking if one of the D’s run as a R in the R primary, forgetting the D primary in the Special Election Primary??

    That is how I took it? Was I wrong?


  7. - shore - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    I thought Napoleon learned in Russia 200 years ago you never invade in winter.


  8. - Skeeter - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:53 am:

    Word,
    That might be a good path for somebody like Adams who has never previously run. None of the rest of the field could do it.
    If Adams could raise money it might make things interesting.


  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    I was referring to candidates running in the GOP primary to get to the general.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    ===I was referring to candidates running in the GOP primary to get to the general.===

    That is how I took it.

    That could be bad for Halvorson if some choose to run as Rs. She needs the biggest field possible.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    If I were Sam Adam, Jr., I would run as a Repub, and take my chances against the big field of Dems.

    Heck, Sam Adam, Jr., could get through the Repub primary and then consolodate all the losing candidates and build a pretty tough General Election mechanism, given also the Free Press Sam Adam, Jr., can generate.

    Something to think about …Sam Adam, Jr.


  12. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    “It could be the path of least resistance to the special general”

    Really?

    Except that we already know that a D, who can be under indictment (Smith) or does not even campaign (Jackson) will beat anyone else on the ballot. The real election will be the Dem primary.


  13. - siriusly - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    Halvorsen should ask Dan Seals if the third time is the charm.


  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    Pluto, what were the names of the GOP candidates against Smith and Jackson? No fair using the google.

    My point is, that a candidate who already has some recognition might be tempted to run in the GOP primary to get to the general.

    Richard J. Daley was first elected as a Republican.


  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    ===Pluto, what were the names of the GOP candidates against Smith and Jackson? No fair using the google.===

    Trick question. The GOP candidate against Smith was kicked off the ballot.


  16. - The Captain - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    The part of this district that Halvorson used to represent is fairly large geographically, but isn’t vote rich in a Democratic primary. She needs many, many candidates getting in to split the vote to clear a path for her.

    Also, why are any of you wasting your time on this running as a Republican idea? It’s so implausibly bad that it’s beneath most of you. Whoever emerges from the Democratic primary will be a much stronger candidate that JJJ was back in November and all he did was win by 40 points so however upset and angry voters in this district may be they still aren’t using their protest votes on a Republican. Geez.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    - Plutocrat03 -,

    If you don’t think Sam Adam, Jr., won’t generate buzz as the Repub Nominee, as Sam gets free press, railing on the Democratic Establishment, and getting into neighborhoods others may not have access to?

    What if Debbie Halvorson gets through a HUGE primary.

    You DON”T think that some of those “losers” aren’t going to back Sam, who will more likely than not, flip to be a Dem once elected?

    “Senator Daley, I think you would feel more at home sitting on that side of the aisle.” Isn’t that how the swearing-in of Richard J. Daley (R-Chicago) go?

    The more I think about it, the path for Sam Adam, Jr., is run as a Repub, help get a boat load of candidates to run to get Debbie Halvorson out the the Dem primary, then, in a Special Election, and with the SAm Adam, Jr., name ID and relationships, and a strong Ground Game given to him AGAINST Halvorson, and remember this is the only election going on …

    Congressman-Elect Adam, Jr. is born.

    Possible …


  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Daley won a House seat as a Republican because of the old three-member districts, which guaranteed that a member of the minority party would represent a district. Apples to oranges.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:50 am:

    ===Daley won a House seat as a Republican because of the old three-member districts, which guaranteed that a member of the minority party would represent a district. Apples to oranges.===

    My bad. Apologies.

    I still like the Sam Adam, Jr., route.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:51 am:

    I morphed Senator Richard “M” Daley and the Richard “J” Daley story.

    Dope!


  21. - Because I said so... - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    Not that he has to, but Sam Adam doesn’t currently live in the district.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    ===Not that he has to, but Sam Adam doesn’t currently live in the district.===

    “While it’s true I do not currently live in the District, remember, this is a ‘Newly Drawn’ District, and I look forward to moving, if elected. Ninety days is too short of a time to find a place, but if elected, I plan on living in the district.”

    Got to love the “new map” as an excuse…


  23. - Skeeter - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    Interesting that Kwame Raoul has ruled himself out. This is a race he could win.

    Is there any politician more cautious than Kwame? He’s the J. Alfred Prufrock of Illinois politics.

    Or maybe he just likes Springfield.


  24. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===Or maybe he just likes Springfield. ===

    More likely, he’s waiting on Bobby Rush to finally retire.


  25. - Skeeter - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    The other thing to watch here will be whether Will Burns does get into the race. I can’t imagine he would do it without Preckwinkle’s support.

    The race could turn into a decent test for her organization. It would also be interesting to see if she wants to risk annoying certain people that she would need if she has any plans in 2016.


  26. - bored now - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:21 pm:

    it seems to me that many of the names (from chicago) don’t actually live in the district — something that members of congress don’t actually need to do…


  27. - nieva - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Surely to goodness there is some person with they can run for this office without using one of the usual suspects.


  28. - Just Observing - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 2:00 pm:

    Running as a GOPer just to ease one’s path to the general election, is a recipe for failure. This is a Dem district, and unless all the stars line up, the Dem nominee will be the Congressperson.

    As for Debbie Halvorson, depending on the field, I don’t think it is a terrible decision by her. Yea, she’s lost two congressional races in a row, but the circumstances are different now. She starts out with name ID, an organization, donors, etc., and in a crowded primary field, mostly with comprised of African Americans, she could stand out enough to squeak by. I’m not saying it will happen that way, just that it could.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===Running as a GOPer just to ease one’s path to the general election, is a recipe for failure. This is a Dem district, and unless all the stars line up, the Dem nominee will be the Congressperson.===

    Sam Adam, Jr., today, can not get out of a crowded primary, and the more the merrier for Halvorson.

    Sam Adam, Jr., in a One on One with Halvorson, in that District, the stars align, politically and Demographically.

    Halvorson can NOT beat Adam, Jr., One on One, in the district drwan as it is. Adam, Jr., and ONLY Adam, Jr., can run as a Repub, get away with it and win that Primary, and have enough Cache’ to defeat a White Suburban Woman as a Repub, One on One.

    Adam, Jr., can’t get out of that Primary, no matter how much Free Media …those City precincts see a ballot of “Halvorson” or “Sam Adam, Jr.,” … that is Sam’s best shot, with those stars.

    One last point…

    Adam, Jr., while he may have voted “D”, Adam, Jr., has never held an office as a “D”, so Sam can claim some “purity to the process”.

    Love to see Adam, Jr., v. Halvorson … it ain’t my District, not my fight, but what a great race after the Primary!


  30. - overcooked - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 2:18 pm:

    The short time between filing and election, and the off-year election date, puts someone with name recognition like Halvorsen in play in the absence of a concensus African American candidate.


  31. - Bill - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    ==but Sam Adam doesn’t currently live in the district.==
    Neither does Jr..


  32. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:44 pm:

    If the District is looking for an upgrade, other than Toi, that’s a very sad list. Halvorson? Really? Ugh. I’d hate to lose Toi from the Senate, but she would be great in Congress.


  33. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    With Trips gone, can the state now end its involvement in the Peotone airport boondoggle? Sell the land and move on.


  34. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 6:11 pm:

    I’d hate to lose Toi from the Senate, but she would be great in Congress.

    +1

    With Trips gone, can the state now end its involvement in the Peotone airport boondoggle?

    Short answer: Ask Gov. “as fast as humanly possible” Quinn.

    Long answer: JJJr is not the only one with skin in the game there, nor is he the one who started the concept. Nor are the likely successors in the 2nd opponents of the project. His departure strengthens Will County’s prospects of control of such a facility, which might gain some additional local favor. And there is still a constituency in the south suburbs, such as the SSMMA, who think the airport is their best chance out of the doldrums. I do agree the state’s ultimate decision on the airport should be based on facts and reason and be cautioned by mistakes made elsewhere.


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