Illinois Governor Orders Special Election for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Old Seat

(CNN) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday that a special election will be held to fill the congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who stepped down last week amid an ethics probe and ongoing health problems.

Quinn said a primary election would be held on February 26, which coincides with an already-scheduled local primary election, and proposed setting April 9 as the date for the general election to coincide with another previously-scheduled vote.

The governor’s statement said Quinn was working with state lawmakers to establish April 9 as the date of the general election, rather than an earlier date, since it falls outside the 115-day period established by state law to schedule a special election date.

“This special election will be carried out in a manner that is fair to the electorate and as economical as possible for taxpayers,” Quinn said in a statement. “By holding the special primary and general elections on the same days as existing contests, we can save significant taxpayer dollars and ensure the people of the 2nd District can make their voices heard.”

Jackson, who announced his resignation in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner last Wednesday, has been the subject of several investigations and was recently treated at the Mayo Clinic for what was described as “several serious health issues.”

Voters in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District — located on Chicago’s South Side — re-elected Jackson, 47, for a 10th two-year term this month, despite his legal and health troubles.

CNN’s Alan Duke contributed to this report.


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