* Just in case you’re wondering, here is the weighted vote for the 2nd Congressional District. Refer to this whenever you see a news story about an endorsement…
* 5th Ward - Leslie Hairston - 2,981
* 7th Ward - Sandi Jackson - 6,298
* 8th Ward - Michele Harris - 2,372
* 9th Ward - Anthony Beale - 5,478
* 10th Ward - John Pope - 1,430
* 34th Ward - Carrie Austin - 1,625
* Bloom Township - Terry Matthews - 8,929
* Bremen Township - Maggie Crotty - 4,140
* Calumet Township - Bob Rita - 161
* Rich Township - Tim Bradford - 11,393
* Thornton Township - Frank Zuccarelli - 20,158
* TOTAL WEIGHTED VOTE: 64,966
* TOTAL NEEDED TO SLATE: 32,484
By my count, state Sen. Donne Trotter is currently at 29,651 (5, 8, Bremen, Thornton).
* Meanwhile, none of these announcements are a surprise, but the race sure is getting crowded…
Three more Chicago politicians have jumped into an increasingly crowded race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in the 2nd Congressional District: Illinois State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), and Robin Kelly — a top aide to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Hutchinson formally announced in an email Thursday that she would run for the seat Jackson vacated last week.
“Families in the South Suburbs and the [South Side] deserve a representative who understands their concerns and who will work alongside President Obama to create new jobs, rebuild our roads and schools, and protect the gains we’ve made on equal pay, health care and civil rights,” Hutchinson said.
Beale also announced Thursday he’s joining the race for Jackson’s seat. He told the Chicago Sun-Times he’s the only candidate in the field who’s created thousands of jobs, referring to his successful work to bring a Wal-Mart store to Pullman Park, at 111th and Doty Avenue. That store, set to open next spring, will be the third Wal-Mart supercenter in Chicago.
Meantime, CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall has confirmed Kelly also is joining the race and will formally announce her candidacy on Sunday at an event in south suburban Matteson.
Already in the contest are former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson of Crete, who lost a primary challenge to Jackson in March, and state Sen.-elect Napoleon Harris, a former Northwestern and NFL player who won his first office this month.
Also announced as a candidate is disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who gave up the 2nd District seat in 1995 after his conviction on sex-related charges, including having sex with an underage campaign worker.
* Harris can self fund and is a former football star with lots of charisma and a great life story. That makes him particularly dangerous…
“I’m running,” Harris told the Sun-Times. “The primary reason I chose to run for the state Senate is the heartbeat and the pulse of my constituents. But over the last few months, we’ve gotten overwhelming support to put my name in the ring for the congressional seat.”
A native of Dixmoor, Harris starred at Thornton Township High School then at Northwestern University. A first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2002, he played seven NFL seasons, most notably starting in Super Bowl XXXVII. The owner of two Beggars Pizza franchises in the area, Harris wanted to return to his community, where many of his relatives still live.
Harris’ field director James Jones said the inquiries about his interest in the congressional seat started coming since Thanksgiving and ramped up Monday, when he estimated that there were 500 phone calls to their office. Late Monday, just before 5 p.m., retired real estate agent Erick Hawthorne called to volunteer to help Harris.
* Halvorson is one of the only white people who will run, which could be advantageous, but many of the district’s whites tend to be Republicans. Sen. Hutchinson replaced Halvorson in the Senate, so the two will likely fight over the same regional vote and the women vote. Still, Hutchinson is a rising star and can’t be underestimated.
Kelly ran statewide, so she has a legit shot. Not mentioned above is former Rep. David Miller, who may get into the race and is from the same region as Kelly.
* Beale might be backed by Ald. Sandi Jackson. He’s already supported by Carrie Austin…
Asked how he plans to raise the $500,000 it’s likely to take to win the abbreviated campaign, Beale said, “The old-fashioned way. We’re gonna make phone calls and get people to buy into my vision.”
Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), powerful chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, said she pledged her support to Beale two years ago and plans to keep her word to him.
“He understands the hardships of the 2nd Congressional District because he has lived in it and worked in it. Those hardships that we have that we have not been able to see addressed by the former congressman, he has more of the ground part of what needs to be done,” Austin said.
As you can see above, however, Austin has only a relative handful of weighted votes in the district.
* I’m not sure what this means…
Sneed hears former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is now singing with the voice of an anxious canary. Sneed also hears rumbles the feds are very interested in a powerful dem femme, who is not an alderman. Stay tuned.
The Jackson File…
All in the family: Although former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s brother, Jonathan, has confided to pals he wants a political career — a future mayoral bid on his supposed wish list — it is another Jackson brother, Yusef, a lawyer, who is described by political watchers as “smart as whip” and “the real deal” who could be the next to enter the political fray.
Yusef is the Budweiser distributor…
Twice last year, Chicago businessman Yusef Jackson — a son of the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and brother-in-law of Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) — went to City Hall seeking taxpayer money for a new home for his Budweiser beer distributorship west of downtown, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times and interviews show.
At first, Jackson asked for a $4.2 million city subsidy in the form of tax-increment financing. That’s according to the application he submitted to City Hall in March 2011, shortly before Mayor Richard M. Daley left office.
On his second application, filed in August 2011, three months after Mayor Rahm Emanuel was sworn in, Jackson slashed the amount of taxpayer money he wanted. This time, he said he needed only $1 million from City Hall to help pay for the $5.1 million renovation of a vacant, two-story building he owns at 401 N. Ogden.
* And check out this story about Mel Reynolds…
“I live at 221…my address is 221…I’m renting. South 138th Street. In Dolton,” Reynolds stammered.
That address doesn’t exist, but there is a 221 East 138th Street. When FOX 32’s Dane Placko showed Reynolds’ picture to neighbors, they didn’t seem to recognize him. […]
His driver’s license is registered to a UPS store in Bronzeville and he says he drives two cars: an SUV with retired congressional plates and a Jaguar.
But, the Secretary of State’s office says that could be a problem.
“The driver’s license, Dane, has been canceled,” Dave Druker of the Secretary of State’s office explains. “He had written a check to the Secretary of State’s office that bounced.”
Druker says Reynolds should not be driving at all.
That bad check is just the start of Reynolds’ financial problems. Cook County records show he’s been sued by several creditors and was kicked out of this property on King Drive.
The lawyer who represented him on that case then turned around and sued Reynolds for non-payment. He won a judgment for more than $12,000, which Reynolds still hasn’t paid.
* House Passes Filing Deadline Extension
* James Taylor Sr. running for Jackson’s seat as Republican