Democrat party bosses stand behind Donne Trotter in 2nd District race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.

December 11, 2012 4:23:36 PM PST
Alderman Sandi Jackson says she plans to keep her job in the Chicago City Council. But she will play a big part in choosing who the party backs to replace her husband, Jesse Jackson Jr., in Congress.

Alderman Jackson, who is not running in the special election to replace her husband, will have a significant role this weekend when Democratic leaders meet to endorse a candidate in that crowded race.

It appears that enough party bosses are supporting the most controversial candidate of them all:

"We believe in Don Trotter," said Thornton Township Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli. "His record speaks for itself with us."

Zuccarelli's Thornton Township turns out the highest number of Democratic voters of any ward or township in the 2nd Congressional District. So, Zuccarelli not only will chair the party's so-called slating committee, he will do so as an unabashed supporter of State Senator Donne Trotter, the candidate charged with trying to board an airplane last week with an unloaded pistol and ammunition.

"He's not perfect, and he's not pretending to be perfect," Zuccarelli said. "He made a mistake and he's admitted to his mistake."

Despite Trotter's arrest, Zuccarelli is putting his considerable political weight behind the longtime state senator.

"He's the only one that's got a proven track record in the suburbs and the city, and we need Donne Trotter to be our congressman," said Zuccarelli.

Meanwhile, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, whose husband Jesse Jr. resigned the seat last month, insisted she will not join the crowded field of candidates to replace him.

Jackson also denied reports that she plans to resign her City Council seat.

"I really wish people wouldn't pay attention to rumors," said Sandi Jackson. "This is not reality TV. This is real life...When and if that day comes, you will hear from me firsthand. You won't hear it from some shadowy figure in the background purporting to speak for me."

Alderman Jackson, also a 2nd District Democratic Committee member, says she has not decided whom she will endorse in the race to replace her husband. Zuccarelli meanwhile says he will continue to flex his political muscle trying to convince Jackson and other Democratic leaders to get Behind trotter and put aside the senator's felony gun charge.

"He had a license to carry the gun, and he shouldn't have had it with him, and he didn't know he had it with him," Zuccarelli said. "So, it was an accident, a mistake. And we all make mistakes."

The Democrats will meet Saturday in the south suburbs to endorse a candidate in the 2nd Congressional District.

The results of that vote goes could hinge on what happens Wednesday in Chicago. Senator Trotter is scheduled to appear in court on the Northwest Side.


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