Days after Jesse Jackson Jr. announced his resignation from Congress last Wednesday, the race to replace him has become increasingly crowded.
Even before Jackson sent his resignation letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, potential candidates started popping up. Even the man who represented former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he wants the seat.
“Yes, I’m interested,” Sam Adam Jr. said last week during a guest-host appearance on WLS-AM’s “The Roe & Roeper Show.” “To be honest, I would love it because I look at it as the ultimate voice for the voiceless.”
Three hours after Jackson resigned, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields also announced plans to run.
Since then at least 10 others have raised their hand to be considered in Illinois’ 2nd District. The list includes Ald. Anthony Beale, Ald. Will Burns, Sen. Kwame Raoul, former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, Mel Reynolds and Jackson’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson.
On Sunday night, Rep. Debbie Halvorson officially threw in her hat for the seat. She represented the state’s 11th district from 2009-2010 but lost big to Jackson in the March primary, 29 percent to 71 percent.
Corey Brooks, the man who became known as Chicago’s “Rooftop Pastor,” also said Sunday he’s considering a run for the seat. Brooks held a 94-day vigil atop a former Super Motel to raise awareness about city violence.
“As far as I’ve gotten is having an exploratory team of people I highly respect that are talking and that I’m talking to,” Brooks told NBC Chicago. “We’re discussing all the issues, the pros and the cons about running, about being in Congress.”
The list isn’t likely to end there as other names pop up, such as Marcus Lewis, Jackson’s outspoken opponent in the November race, and even Jackson’s siblings.
Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday is expected to schedule a special election to fill the vacated seat, which must be filled within 115 days. The constituents of the 2nd district will be without representation until the seat is filled.
Meanwhile former Congressman Jackson Jr. has not been seen in public.