CHICAGO - Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr not only cost 2nd CD several months of having no representation in Congress, the timing of his resignation will cost Illinois upwards of $5 million, researchers predict.
Recent special congressional elections in Illinois cost between $2700 and 4000 per precinct. The 2nd CD has 590 precincts, shooting the costs to nearly $2.5 M per election. The special election will require a primary and a special election. And while local officials were hoping to coincide the special election with the 2013 local elections, Illinois law collides.
Governor Quinn must set a special-ection date within five days, under Illinois law. The election must be held in the 115 days after that. Illinois primaries will take place Feb. 26, but the April 9 election date falls outside the 115-day special-election range. March 21 is the earliest the 2nd District special election could be held.
In November Jackson received 62% of the vote, with an Independent candidate and Republican Brian Woodworth splitting the remaining 38%. The 2nd district's constituents are 62% African-American. It covers parts of Cook and Will counties and all of Kankakee, as of the 2011 redistricting which followed the 2010 census. All or parts of Bradley, Bourbonnais, Calumet City, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Dolton, Harvey, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Kankakee, Lansing, Markham, Matteson, Park Forest, Richton Park, Riverdale, Sauk Village and Steger are included.