Race to Fill Jackson’s Seat Highlights New Challenges for the Black Caucus

Cameron Joseph, The Hill, December 20, 2012

The race to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) is throwing a spotlight on new electoral challenges facing the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

The Illinois race is the first real test of whether open-seat elections in expanded, more diverse districts are still likely to elect African-Americans to Congress.

Because of dwindling urban populations, less segregated neighborhoods and a fast-growing Hispanic population, many districts where African-American politicians have been all but guaranteed a win are no longer as secure.

The CBC ranks will hold steady in 2012 at 42 members, and they will grow if Jackson’s replacement is black.


But one prominent CBC member is likely to get involved. A spokesman for Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) indicated he’s likely to endorse one of the African-American candidates in the Democratic primary.

“The congressman is concerned about the community being able to have a real choice in who would best represent them in the tradition of the representation they’ve had over these past years,” Ira Cohen, a spokesman for Davis, told The Hill. “He is looking at who is interested in running and will make a decision at some point about a candidate that he feels is consistent with that kind of representation.”

Jackson’s old district, like many heavily African-American districts, was expanded during the redistricting process into the suburbs and took in more white voters.

The seat is expected to remain in Democratic hands—Jackson won reelection in November by a wide margin, despite not campaigning.


Jackson easily dispatched white former Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) in the 2012 primary. She’s running again—and a crowded Democratic field is boosting her chances at returning to Congress.

Halvorson took less than a third of the vote against Jackson in 2012. But in a late-February primary where few are expected to vote, she has a better shot at turning out her suburban base and pulling off a win.

When asked whether she was worried about the city/suburban and racial divides in the race, Halvorson downplayed those concerns.

“We are focused on getting our message out to everyone in the special election,” she told The Hill via email.

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  • The__Bobster

    Once the spoonies get something, they think it’s theirs forever. Once YT loses something, it’s lost forever unless he has the will to take it back.

    • liberalsuck

      The problem is YT lost his will long ago and it will take a lot for YT to muster any courage to be the kinds of white men that we were 100 years ago.

  • RJSNS16

    Can anyone fill me in what any White political groups in DC think about this development and how it might impact White collective interests?

  • Johnny Clay

    If I were a politician, I’d call their bluff. You want “your” seat? We have a better deal. How about your own country?

    • bigone4u

      That idea is genius. We could use you in Washington. I’m tempted to add however that they do already have their own country, one that used to be yours, mine, and ours.

      • Johnny Clay

        I doubt I could even get elected, and if I did, they’d probably boot me out of the building.

  • As I always say, ‘once you go black, you’re not allowed to go back’.

    While an historically white neighborhood must be integrated, an historically black neighborhood must be preserved at all costs.

    A classic textbook example is “Flag Wars” on PBS when white gays move into a black neighborhood:


    • TheTRUTH

      Well, keeping black neighborhoods preserved is becoming increasingly more difficult. Here in NY, and I believe every single big city, black “hoods” are getting a taste of diversity via Hispanics (specifically Mexicans). In the particular borough I live in, even the blackest neighborhoods are browning fast and furious. I know no one here agrees with me, but I’d rather Hispanics than blacks by a mile. The Mexicans over here are quite different than out West. As I said once before, an all-black neighborhood ten minutes away turned mostly Mexican. No more gun shots every night. Like magic. It’s also nice to have blacks get a taste of their own medicine and get swallowed up into the diversity ambush.

  • PesachPatriot

    When I was a kid I read about the fist fight between Senator Calhoun of South Carolina and Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts that ended with mr. calhoun beating mr. sumner with his cane while they debate the compromise of 1850….I have a feeling the wrangling over who will take this seat may end in a similiar fashion

    • bigone4u

      More likely with bullets rather than sticks.

    • bigone4u

      More likely with bullets rather than sticks.

  • Greg Thomas

    I hope they lose that seat to an illegal invading mexican. Would serve them right….

    • TheTRUTH

      I hope they ALL lose their seats.

  • Rosebud

    Being so-called “advocates” for Black American interests, you’d think that the Black Caucus would be highly concerned about real problems taking black in black communities. But as we all are well aware, all these black elitists are all about is gaining power and sticking it to Whitey.

    Obviously, blacks should be less concerned about politics and be more concerned with fixing their own internal problems. Of course doing so would mean to admit that the racism is not to blame for their plight; something that most blacks can’t seem to bring themselves to accept.

    It’s too bad that honest blacks like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are generally shut out of the black political discussion due to their non-conformist views. Black America would be in a lot better shape now if these two fine gentlemen were in charge of the discourse here in American politics.

  • StillModerated

    C’mon, people! This is Chimpcongo, the seat will be sold to the highest bidder. Or simply given to the one who has the most dirt on His Nibs In Charge (HNIC).