Despite the weather, voters in and around Chicago shuffled to their local polling stations for Tuesday’s primary election.
Voters were to pick the Democrat and Republican who will vie for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat in the April 9 election.
Jackson resigned from his post in November, citing his mental health and amid a federal investigation. He and his wife, former 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson, later pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.
There are 18 candidates running to represent the 2nd Congressional District. Fourteen are Democrats, and four are Republicans.
According to The Huffington Post, former state Rep. Robin Kelly, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago’s 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale are the three Democratic front-runners.
The district covers portions of Kankakee, Will and Cook counties.
Kankakee County Clerk Bruce Clark was pleased with the voter turnout, despite the snow.
“Given the weather, I think it’s a decent turn out for a primary election,” Clark told The Chicago Reporter.
City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen thought the weather was not the major reason for a lower turnout.
“Special primaries always have really low turnouts, it’s not as high profile as president, governor or senator elections,” said Allen. “It should be, but it’s not.”
Early voting started Feb. 11 and ran through Feb. 23. On Tuesday, polls opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 7 p.m.
The day was also a big one for west suburban Cicero, where residents were to vote for a town president.
The three candidates were Larry Dominick, who is running for a third term, Joseph Pontrarelli, former senior services director, and Juan Ochoa, former CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.
If the candidates in the town president election get less than 50 percent of the votes, the top two candidates will run against each other in April.
--Story by Natasha Hemley