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(AP) — Candidates vying to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. can start filing paperwork with the Illinois Board of Elections.

The filing period for established party candidates begins Thursday and ends Monday.

The heavily-Democratic 2nd District covers parts of Chicago’s South Side, suburbs and some rural areas. There are approximately 420,000 registered voters in the district.

Jackson resigned in November after holding the seat for about 17 years. He cited his health and acknowledged that he is under federal investigation.

The primary for the special election is Feb. 26, and the general election is April. 9. Several candidates have stepped forward, including Debbie Halvorson and Mel Reynolds. Both have served in the U.S. House.

Other candidates include Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson and former state Rep. Robin Kelly.

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