Rich Miller at Capitol Fax has the scoop:This just in…
Saturday, Feb 16, 2013
* 8:52 pm - A top source close to Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s congressional campaign confirmed widespread rumors tonight that Hutchinson will likely drop out of the 2nd District special primary race on Sunday.
The reasons are many, including Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to point his massive super PAC right at Hutchinson while backing rival Robin Kelly.
To date, over 5,000 members of this community donated to Robin Kelly’s campaign, helping to raise some $100,000. Daily Kos members make up 85% of her total donors.
The flood gates that opened after U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from his seat last November closed on Monday with 22 people filing to represent the 2nd Congressional District.
With the crowded field of 17 Democrats and five Republicans, some candidates were baring their fund-raising credentials to set themselves apart from the pack.
The cadre of candidates is competing in a special primary election set for Feb. 26.
On Monday, onetime state representative Robin Kelly, who resigned from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s staff last month, announced she already raised $200,000 just since December.
Last week, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson announced she raised $130,000 despite December being “traditionally the most difficult fundraising month of the year.” Both Kelly and Hutchinson lauded their fund-raising prowess as a sign of widespread support within the sprawling district that includes the South Side of Chicago, south suburbs and runs down to Kankakee and Will counties.
One-term former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who lost against Jackson in a primary last year, didn’t disclose her total, saying she hadn’t added up the numbers yet. But Halvorson said she doesn’t have to work as hard at raising money to run ads because she’s already gone through the initial introduction to the district.
“People are very sick and tired of the amount of emails they’re getting from all these candidates. I’ve got the luxury of not having to do that,” Halvorson said on Monday. “We’re able to go back and just shore up … We don’t have to start from scratch where a lot of candidates are in now.”
The wave of candidates interested in the seat came after Jackson resigned from his position in Congress. In his resignation letter, Jackson for the first time admitted he was under federal scrutiny and was in plea negotiations with authorities. Jackson was absent from Congress beginning in June after he said he suffered from bipolar depression.
Longtime political analyst Don Rose said not only will money be important in the race to replace Jackson but how a candidate spends it will be critical.
“There’s no question that fund-raising is important,” he said. “Nobody has a district-wide reputation so they simply [have] to get their message out. Money is a substantial part of the ballgame.”
Rose qualified that, however, pointing out that U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley was far outspent when he ran in a special election in 2009, and he won with about 22 percent of the vote.
Rose said Halvorson is the only candidate to have a district-wide name, having run in the primary and agreed she probably didn’t need to fund raise as much as other candidates.
Other Democrats who have filed by the Monday deadline include Ald. Anthony Beale; ex-con and former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, of Dolton, who was replaced by Jackson; Victor Jonathan (formerly Victor Onafuye), of Country Club Hills, a South Side pastor; Clifford Eagleton, of Harvey, Gregory Haynes, of Lynwood; Charles Rayburn of Dolton; Anthony W. Williams of Dolton; Fatimah Muhammad of Chicago; Ernest Fenton of Markham; John Blyth of Chicago; Larry Pickens of Chicago; Patrick Brutus of Chicago.
Republican candidates are: McAllister, James Taylor Sr. of Bradley; Eric Wallace of Flossmoor; Paul McKinley of Chicago and Beverly Reid of Chicago.
h/t: Chicago Sun Times
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s resignation from Congress leaves his seat in Illinois’s 2nd District open for a special election, and local Democrats are already considering names.
A top option would be Debbie Halvorson, who represented Illinois’s 11th District for one term, from 2009-11, and lost her bid against Jackson this year when he picked up over 70 percent of the vote in the primary.
Another previous Jackson opponent, Mel Reynolds, who held Jackson’s seat from 1993-95 before him, is a possible contender, according to the Chicago Tribune. Reynolds, however, was convicted for sexual assault and bank fraud in the 90s, and lost his primary bid against Jackson in 2004.
The Chicago Sun Times also reported that former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is considering a run, but Stroger lives outside the district and faced criticism as board president for raising taxes and promoting a family member. He also had a relatively close race against his Republican challenger, despite running in a heavily Democratic county, and came in last in the Democratic primary for the position in 2010.
Other names suggested by the Tribune include state Sens. Toi Hutchinson and Donne Trotter, incoming state Sen. Napoleon Harris, Alds. Anthony Beale from the 9th ward and Will Burns from the 4th ward, former state Reps. David Mille and Robin Kelly, and Sam Adam, Jr., former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attorney.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn must set a date for the election on Monday, but by law, the election must take place within 115 days of Jackson’s resignation, or no later than March 16.
Local officials have been pushing to make the special election to be held on April 9, with a primary held on Feb. 26, as there are already elections scheduled for those days.
h/t: The Hill