Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. coasted to a big win against long-time foe Debbie Halvorson, a former congresswoman.
In the 2nd Congressional District contest, Jackson had 71.2 percent of the vote to Debbie Halvorson’s 28.8 percent with 99 percent of the unofficial vote counted.
"This victory may be the most meaningful of all of them," Jackson told supporters.
Halvorson told reporters that she conceded defeat.
Halvorson, a former one-term congresswoman from Crete, hopes to end Jackson’s 17 years in Congress by taking advantage of the Chicago Democrat’s ongoing ethics cloud. He faces a congressional ethics investigation that stems from allegations that Jackson campaign supporters offered to raise money for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for appointing Jackson to Obama’s theU.S. Senate. Jackson denies any wrongdoing.
Halvorson said Jackson has been “distracted” by the ethics investigation.
For Jackson, the primary fight with Halvorson has been his toughest in more than a decade. Jackson leaned heavily on an endorsement from President Barack Obama in a district stretching from Chicago’s South Side into Kankakee.
Moreover, Jackson’s new district now stretches further south into parts of Will and Kankakee counties, which are familiar territory for Halvorson. The former state senator served one term in the U.S. House representing that area before she was swept out in the 2010 Republican wave.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun