CHICAGO (AP) — The primary contest to replace disgraced former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson was in the hands of Chicago-area voters Tuesday, just three months after his resignation and an intense period of campaigning by more than a dozen candidates.
The front-runners — former state Rep. Robin Kelly, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale — planned Election Day stops at train stations and restaurants in the district that spans Chicago’s South Side, south suburbs and some rural areas. They were among 14 Democrats and four Republicans in the special primary, but the Democratic winner was expected to sail through the April 9 general election because of the heavily-Democratic region.
Beale planned to vote at a school in Chicago, Halvorson was set to cast a ballot at a suburban community center and Kelly voted early.
Voters haven’t seen an open primary since 1995, when Jackson first won office.
Turnout at the polls was expected to be low, and candidates and election officials braced for a possible winter storm that could dump up to six inches of snow on the region and complicate Tuesday’s logistics. Election officials said they were in communication with streets and sanitation workers about making sure pathways to polls were kept clear.
In Chicago, fewer than 2,800 voters, or roughly 2 percent or registered voters in the district, cast early ballots. In suburban Cook County — the bulk of the district’s voting population — it was nearly 2 percent. The last time the Chicago area had a special primary election for Congress was 2009 after Rahm Emanuel left his seat to take a job as White House chief of staff. Roughly 18 percent of registered voters in the district spanning North Side neighborhoods voted. In suburban Cook County, the percentage was far lower.
Guns and ethics were on the minds of voters, and both were main issues on the campaign trail, particularly as Jackson’s legal saga played out in federal court. He pleaded guilty to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items and faces prison time. The son of the civil rights leader is the third consecutive congressman from the district to leave office under an ethical or legal cloud.
Still, gun control became the top issue on the campaign trail, including at candidate forums and television ads.
Independence USA, the super PAC of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, poured more than $2 million into the race for anti-gun ads in support of Kelly and against Halvorson, a former state lawmaker and one-term congresswoman. Kelly supports a ban, but Halvorson does not.
“Gun control, we need it,” said retiree Angela Craig, an undecided Chicago voter. She had supported Jackson in the past but didn’t feel like she got enough time to weigh the candidates.
Jackson resigned in November after a months-long medical leave. He pleaded guilty early this month to charges that he misspent $750,000 in campaign money on lavish personal items, including a Rolex watch and furs. His departure created a rare opening in the district.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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