Jesse Jackson Jr. rolls over Debbie Halvorson after bitter battle

March 21, 2012

By DAVE MCKINNEY Sun-Times Springfield

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. swept past Democratic rival Debbie Halvorson in their bitter primary battle for the 2nd Congressional District covering the South Side and nearby suburbs.

With 83 percent of precincts reporting, Jackson had 71 percent of the vote.

Halvorson called Jackson to concede about 8:45 p.m., Jackson campaign spokeswoman Kitty Kurth said.

“We knew we’d won at 8:30, with 74 percent of the vote in,” Kurth said.

Earlier, Jackson’s wife, Sandi, held court with reporters, expressing confidence that Jackson’s majority wouldn’t drop below 70 percent of the vote and that the serious issues facing her husband didn’t register with voters.

“People in their everyday lives, when it comes to elected officials, care about having someone that cares about the things they care about. That’s the economy, jobs, food on the table. That’s what they care about. This other stuff, no. It did not resonate,” said Jackson’s wife, the 7th Ward alderman.

Kurth agreed.

“Apparently, this is a lesson here for the media: Every time the media brought up Gov. (Rod) Blagojevich and those issue and ethics issues, our voter base got more intense because they told us we’ve heard that before,” she said. “That’s old new. What we care about are jobs.”

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