Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Resigns; Illinois Must Hold Special Congressional Election No Later Than March 2013

On November 21, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., resigned, only 15 days after he had been re-elected from the Illinois 2nd district in Chicago. See this story, which says that under Illinois law, taxpayers will spend $5,000,000 administering a special primary and a special election. The law requires the special election no later than March 21.

The November 6 election had three candidates on the ballot. Besides Jackson, there was a Republican and an independent, Marcus Lewis. The story linked above says Lewis plans to run in the special election. Assuming he wants to run as an independent in the special election, he will need a petition signed by 5% of the vote cast in the November 2012 election. That will be at least 14,336 valid signatures, a very severe burden. He only needed 5,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2012 election, because the 5% formula is not in effect for U.S. House elections in the year after redistricting.


Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Resigns; Illinois Must Hold Special Congressional Election No Later Than March 2013 — 10 Comments

  1. Perhaps Jackson could have just resigned effective January 3rd for the 2013-2015 term, which would have fit their Feb26/Apr9 schedule (Rahm resigned effective January 2nd and got a March/April schedule in 2009)

    Since this is a special election to fill the 2013-2015 term, and there’s not going to be a vacancy for that term until January 3rd.. there’s a slight mist involved.

    Michael Stern goes at this from another angle:

  2. Lewis got 38,733 votes in the previous election, so it shouldn’t be too hard for him if he can get the people who voted for him to sign the petitions.

  3. only Dem & Rep (except there is another ballot-qualified party in just one legislative district).

  4. Actually the Election Code does not provide for a mechanism for new party or independent candidates. We are expecting to sue.

  5. One more IRRESPONSIBLE robot party hack.

    He did not detect his mental problems until very recently ??? — i.e. even a year ago ???

    This is akin to the 2012 McCotter moron mess in Michigan.

    Rank order replacement lists for all legislators.
    Legislative body to fill replacement if no qualified candidate on a list.
    i.e. NO more very expensive special elections.

  6. If Illinois were to adopt the Top 2 Open Primary, there is at least the possibility that Jackson would have faced a competitive opponent in the general election, and that everyone could vote in the special election which actually decides who the next representative will be.

  7. @7 I believe Jackson got 71.5% in the Democratic primary against another sitting congresswoman as a result of redistricting. So, your supposition is just wishful thinking.

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