Hot ticket: 22 candidates file for Jesse Jackson Jr. seat

Rachel Rose Hartman

A crowded field of 22 candidates—17 Democrats and 5 Republicans—filed for the Feb. 26 primary to succeed resigned Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois before Monday's filing deadline.

The heavily Democratic Chicago-area 2nd District will likely center on the Democratic slate, which is topped by former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who challenged Jackson in the 2012 primary; former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds; state Sen. Toi Hutchinson; Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale; Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly; health care executive and former U.S. Senate candidate Joyce Washington; and former NFL linebacker and state Sen.-elect Napoleon Harris.

Former conservative radio host Lenny McAllister stands out in the GOP field.

Winners of the party primaries will face off in an April 9 special general election.

Jackson resigned Nov. 21 after a prolonged absence from Congress while undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues. Jackson also faced a federal probe of the alleged misuse of campaign funds.