Halvorson Challenges Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congressional Primary | NBC Chicago
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Halvorson Challenges Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congressional Primary



    (Published Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011)

    Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson on Thursday announced her congressional run for the 2nd District, and she wasted no time taking jabs at the current congressman.

    "We need a congressman that doesn't have ethical distractions," Halvorson said of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., still ailing from ties to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the testimony given during Blago's retrial.

    Halvorson served as a representative for the 11th from 2009 to 2011, when Adam Kinzinger unseated her. She and Jackson have gone head-to-head in the past, namely over the third airport Jackson wanted near Peotone.

    She brought up the airport right away on Thursday, saying, "This has been his pet project for 15 years, where is it?"

    Jackson, for his part, isn't a fan. In a March press release he opposed Halvorson’s attempted appointment to as the state’s Transportation Secretary.

    “Any consideration of her for that post would be an outrageous slap in the face to voters in the south suburbs who overwhelmingly supported Gov. Quinn for re-election because of his promise to build a third airport,” Jackson said.

    But Halvorson appears ready for a fight.

    She said it took her some time to decide to throw her hat in for the Democratic primary in the redrawn district, which extends from 53rd in Chicago to Kankakee. In the end, she said, she wants to "stand up for the people who need me."