Possible Jackson replacements address Dems
December 15, 2012 (SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill.) (WLS) -- Saturday could be the most important day for the people trying to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.
Democratic leaders heard from the candidates and it's possible they could throw their support behind one of them.
At the end of the day, there were simply not enough votes to give a majority to any of the would-be candidates, meaning that there will be an open primary process when that primary election takes place to select a Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District on Feb. 26. 2013.
Saturday's slating process did allow committeemen and the public to hear from some 15 would-be candidates. Each was given time to talk about why they wanted to be selected.
They also answered questions which ranged from job creation to their position on a third airport, something Jackson Jr. spent a lot of time on.
Among the 15 candidates speaking were Alderman Anthony Beale, former State Representative Robin Kelly, State Representative Toi Hutchinson, former Congresswoman Debbi Halvorson and State Senator Donne Trotter.
Trotter was initially thought to be the frontrunner, but he was arrested earlier this month on charges that he had a pistol in his carryon while trying to board a plane at O'Hare, and that may have hurt him in the end.
Trotter vaguely alluded to the incident in his remarks, while other made their pitch as to why they were the best person to represent the district.
"As of late, many of you have been hearing a lot of things of who Donne Trotter is," he said. "Well, what I'm going to try to talk about in the next few minutes is who I am, why I want this position."
"When it comes to what the new 2nd District is, I want a new day, I want a new voice, I want some new leadership," Hutchinson, said. "I think we have an incredible opportunity right now to do just that."
"I'm the only one with the experience and expertise that can go there, go to Congress and on day one deliver," Halvorson said.
The lack of an endorsement coming out of Saturday's session only means that in the end whoever ends up on the ballot at the primary, no one candidate will have an advantage over the other, or the support of the Democratic machine.
politics, michelle gallardo
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