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Felony Charge Won't Stop Trotter's Plan to Campaign

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State Sen. Donne Trotter let his lawyer do most of the talking during a press conference, but spoke up at one point to reaffirm his campaign. Mary Ann Ahern reports for NBC News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.

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State Sen. Donne Trotter is not going to let felony charges stand his way of running for former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacant seat.

Trotter was charged with a felony last week after he tried to go through security at O'Hare International airport with a .25 caliber pistol and bullets. His case is heading to a Grand Jury.

"He did not remember that he had the gun there," Trotter's attorney said on Wednesday during a press conference, after finding out the Cook County State's Attorney wants more time before proceeding.

Durkin believes the law rests on intent and Trotter told police he forgot the gun was in his luggage.

During the press conference, Trotter let Durkin do all the talking except to reaffirm his intentions to stay in the race.

"One of our greatest champions, Jesse Jackson Jr., has resigned and there has been a void," he said. "I believe my work and my credentials in that community certainly makes me highly qualified."

But the timing could not be worse for Trotter, who is actively campaigning to be the anointed Democratic Endorsed Candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

"It’s a cloud hanging over his head, which we're not happy about," Durkin said.

But failing to get the backing of the Democratic Party doesn't necessarily mean he's out of the race.

Alderman Anthony Beale is also running in the special election and will be asking slate makers for their support, but will run with or without it.

"You still have to get your message out," Beale said. "You still have to pound the pavement. You still got to meet and greet people."

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