Former lawmakers, including sex offender, vie for Jesse Jackson’s seat

Rachel Rose Hartman

A crowded field of Democrats, including former lawmakers and one sex offender, has quickly formed for the U.S. House seat formerly held by Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr.

On Sunday, former state Rep. Robin Kelly added her name to the growing list, which already includes former U.S. Reps. Debbie Halvorson and Mel Reynolds and many other state and local lawmakers, according to reports.

Reynolds served in the mid-'90s until he resigned after being convicted of multiple charges, including sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography. Reynolds insisted on Wednesday that he is making a serious bid for the open seat.

Jackson resigned Nov. 21 amid an ongoing federal investigation into the alleged misuse of campaign funds. Jackson had been absent from Washington for weeks due to treatment for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn announced Sunday that the special election to replace Jackson in Chicago's 2nd District will be held April 9.