FOX 32 Sunday: Special 2nd Congressional District edition - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

FOX 32 Sunday: Special 2nd Congressional District edition

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

On a special 2nd Congressional District edition of FOX 32 Sunday, some of the leading contenders to replace Jackson Jr., faced off in the first campaign debate, including State Senator Toi Hutchinson, the State Senate's powerful Appropriations Chairman Donne Trotter, and 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale.

Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) declared, "it's time for a woman. I think, you know, we've had three consecutive congressmen. And I think it's time for new leadership. There are a number of folks that would like to see a woman hold the seat."

Pushing back hard, though, was a Springfield colleague. "I think it's just the wrong approach," said State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago.) "What that rhetoric adds into is divisiveness of our community. It is not about a woman. It's about, you know, one who has proven, looked at and also understood proven leadership."

Jackson, Jr., is the third consecutive congressman from the second district to leave that office under a cloud of scandal. Ninth Ward Ald. Anthony Beale vowed to push for campaign finance reform. "We have too many people with special interest groups that are driving our elected officials," said Beale, of the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood. "We have to free our elected officials to be able to go in and vote their conscience."

Asked if they would be transparent about their own personal finances, all three indicated they would release their personal income tax returns before primary election day, Feb. 26th.

The special election primary to fill Jackson's seat will be held on February 26th, with a general election on April 9th.

More than a dozen others are preparing to run as well, including U.S. Representative Deborah Halvorson, Pastor Corey Brooks, and former congressman Mel Reynolds.

Two other candidates had initially indicated they would join the forum. But former U.S. Representative Deborah Halvorson and former State Representative Robin Kelly changed their minds. Kelly, now Chief Administrative Officer for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, is reportedly taking a leave of absence from that post. She plans a Sunday news conference about her campaign.

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