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Illinois: Democrats to Endorse 2nd District Candidate

Chicago-area Democrats are scheduled on Saturday to slate a candidate in the special election for the open 2nd District seat.

Influential Thornton Township Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli will lead the committee to pick a favorite in a burgeoning field of Democrats.

But Zuccarelli’s favorite, state Sen. Donne Trotter, was recently charged with trying to bring a gun on a plane.

The Democratic field is crowded: Alderman Anthony Beale, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, former Rep. Mel Reynolds and Trotter.

Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s resignation last month forced a special election for his district on the Windy City’s southern end. The Feb. 26 primary should decide the next member in his heavily Democratic district.

The race was upended last week when Trotter attempted to bring a gun and bullets on a plane to Washington, D.C. Trotter said he didn’t realize he was carrying the firearm, left over from his security guard shift, and the state’s attorney will proceed with a grand jury in January.

A big Trotter backer, Zuccarelli has reiterated his support for the state senator since the incident.

There’s at least one prominent local Democrat who is not running: Alderman Sandi Jackson, the wife of the former congressman. The Democrat told reporters Wednesday that she has no plans to resign her seat.

Jackson reportedly resigned during discussions with federal investigators over a plea deal for charges related to improper use of campaign funds.

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