Written by The Chicago Defender
The Illinois House unanimously approved on Wednesday a vote to set the special election to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) for April 9.
The date falls beyond the 115-day special-election range mandated by state law, but approval from the Illinois legislature will allow Gov. Pat Quinn to bypass that requirement. Instead, the April general-election date will coincide with previously scheduled municipal elections in a cost-cutting move.
Jackson offered his resignation last Tuesday, just over two weeks after being reelected to the House. In his resignation letter, the Chicago congressman cited his struggles with bipolar disorder, although he is also reportedly the target of a federal probe into whether he misused campaign funds.
If the Illinois legislature were to have voted the measure down, the special election and preceding primary could have cost taxpayers as much as $5.1 million, according to a report by ABC News.
While April 9 will be the official election date, the heavily Democratic 2nd Congressional District should effectively pick its next representative in the Democratic primary on Feb. 26.
At least two former House members — Rep. Mel Reynolds and Rep. Debbie Halverson — have announced their intention to seek the Democratic nomination. Democratic state Sen. Toi Hutchison has also announced her candidate. Jackson brother, Jonathan, also told WVON that he is considering making a bid for his brother's former seat.