U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has jumped out to an early lead tonight in his Democratic primary contest against longtime foe Debbie Halvorson, a former congresswoman.
Jackson had 72% to Halvorson’s 28% with more than 9% counted in unofficial returns in the 2nd Congressional District.
Halvorson, who served one term in Congress, hopes to end Jackson’s 17-year tenure as he battles ethics allegations. Jackson faces a congressional ethics investigation stemming from accusations that his campaign supporters offered to raise money for then-Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich in exchange for appointing Jackson to President Obama’s former seat in the U.S. Senate. Jackson denies any wrongdoing.