Voters ponder guns, ethics in Jackson Jr. district - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Voters ponder guns and ethics in 2nd district, low voter turnout expected

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Candidates in the race to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. are making their final push in a special primary contest where voter turnout is expected to be low.

The Democratic front-runners are former state Rep. Robin Kelly, Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale and former Congressman Debbie Halvorson. Since it's heavily Democratic territory, Tuesday's winner is expected to sweep the April 9 general.

Nearly two dozen candidates are running in Tuesday's special primary in Illinois' 2nd District, which includes Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs.

Guns and ethics have been the main issues, particularly with Jackson's legal saga. He's pleaded guilty to spending campaign funds for personal use.

Candidates have focused on gun control, particularly with $2 million in ads supporting Kelly from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC.

Election officials say voter turnout will be low, and some worry winter weather may further complicate things. In Chicago, it was only 28% in a 2009 special primary.

Early voting has been paltry.

In Chicago, roughly 2% of registered voters cast early ballots. The number is up slightly compared to a special primary election in 2009.

Overall, Chicago turnout in the 2009 primary was 18%. In suburban Cook County, turnout was roughly 10%, including early votes.

The National Weather Service has issued a storm watch for northern Illinois including Cook County.

Election officials say they're communicating with streets and sanitation workers to make sure pathways to polls are clear.

For more information on all the 2nd district candidates you can vote for in Tuesday's special primary election, please see the Illinois Board of Elections' list.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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