Special primary election date set for 2nd Congressional District

Illinois will begin filling the vacancy in its 2nd Congressional District seat with a special primary election on Feb. 26, 2013, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Pat Quinn. This is the same date as the already-scheduled local primary elections. Quinn is working to set a date of April 9, 2013, for the seat’s general election, the same date as other existing general elections.

However, in order to comply with state law, Quinn’s writs of election set a general election date of March 19, 2013. State law requires a special election be held within 115 days of the governor’s writs of election, which places April 9 outside of that time frame.

Quinn is working with the General Assembly to change the statute so the date can be moved to April 9.

“By holding the special primary and general elections on the same days as existing contests, we can save significant taxpayer dollars and ensure the people of the 2nd District can make their voices heard,” Quinn said in the press release.

The 2nd Congressional District seat was left vacant last week after Jesse Jackson Jr.’s resignation. Jackson, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in August, cited health issues and a federal investigation of his campaign funds. He served as a congressman for 17 years.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District consists of approximately 420,000 registered voters in Cook, Kankakee and Will counties.

    For suburban Cook County, the deadline for registering to vote in the primary is Jan. 29, while the registration deadline for the general election is March 12, assuming the general election is held on April 9, said Courtney Greve, senior public information officer for the Cook county clerk’s office.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.