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Who's in and who's out in the race for Jesse Jackson's Jr. seat

December 3, 2012 3:52:37 AM PST
Pastor Corey Brooks surprised his congregation by announcing that he would not be running for Congress after all.Brooks, who said in November that he was considering a run, is out but former State Representative Robin Kelly is in.

Kelly joins several other candidates who have a very short time frame to gather signatures for petitions, work on their name recognition and raise money.

Many suburban and city politicians are anxious to take advantage of the congressional seat left open following Jesse Jackson Jr.'s resignation.

Democrat Kelly is running after losing the race for state treasurer two years ago.

"I'm running for all the women and men in our communities living paycheck to paycheck," she said.

Brooks chose the place where he felt most comfortable to announce he would rather be a pastor than a congressman, his church.

"I'm not running because of my family-number one, number two- church and Project Hood," Brooks said.

While Brooks has opted out, another Chicagoan may also take a pass on the seat. Alderman Will Burns is reportedly leaning against a bid.

There are still plenty of others competing for this rare open seat including: former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, former Congressman and convicted felon Mel Reynolds, Alderman Anthony Beale, State Senators Donne Trotter , Toi Hutchinson, and State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris.

Even though the district has been remapped and reaches down to Kankakee, it remains majority African American and very Democratic.

"African Americans tend to be very loyal, more than most Democrats, to their elected representatives," ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington said. "So once you get in, it's really, really hard to get out-unless you're trying real hard."

Republican State Party Chairman Pat Brady said for the moment, Republicans are watching the Democrats' horse race for the seat.


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