Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.
BY HUNTER CLAUSS Staff Reporter November 25, 2012 11:56PM
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Updated: December 27, 2012 6:28AM
Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson announced Sunday night that she will run in a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned last week.
Halvorson ran unsuccessfully against Jackson in the March 20 primary, garnering about 24 percent of the total votes to 58 percent for Jackson. Halvorson represented the 11th Congressional District from 2009 to 2011. Before that, she served as a state senator for 12 years.
In a statement issued late Sunday, Halvorson’s campaign touted the former congresswoman as “the only candidate who could avoid freshman orientation and hit the ground running.”
Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to set a day for the special election to replace Jackson. By law, the election would have to be held within 115 days of Jackson’s resignation. That would place the election no later than March 16.
Jackson submitted his resignation on Wednesday to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. The announcement came after Jackson faced mounting pressure as federal investigators appeared to widen their ongoing investigation into the congressman’s activities.
Jackson had been missing in action politically for more than five months. His absence from his official congressional duties began June 10, although his office did not disclose it until two weeks later.
He has checked in and out of the Mayo Clinic at least twice for treatment for bipolar depression.
The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that Jackson has hired high-profile criminal defense attorney Dan Webb and has been in the midst of plea negotiations with federal prosecutors.