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jessejacksonjr16x9Illinois 2nd Congressional District residents will soon return to the polls to elect a new representative, after Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned last week.

Governor Pat Quinn issued writs of elections Monday setting a special primary election for Feb. 26, 2013, that will coincide with existing local primary elections.

He also set a general election date of March 19 to comply with current law requiring the special election to be held within 115 days. However, Quinn is working with the Illinois legislature to move the general election date to April 9, the already-scheduled local general elections. This will require a change in statute.

According to a report from ABC News, the congressman’s departure and the special election to replace him could cost taxpayers roughly $5.1 million, but Quinn is trying to keep costs as low as possible.

“This special election will be carried out in a manner that is fair to the electorate and as economical as possible for taxpayers,” Quinn said Monday in a statement. “By holding the special primary and general elections on the same days as existing contests, we can save significant taxpayer dollars and ensure the people of the 2nd District can make their voices heard.”

Jackson Jr., who had been on medical leave since early June, resigned in a letter to house speaker John Boehner last week.

“My health issues and treatment regimen have become incompatible with service in the House of Representatives. Therefore, it is with great regret that I hereby resign … effective today, in order to focus on restoring my health,” Jackson Jr. wrote in a two-page letter to Boehner. Jackson had been in and out of the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic twice since his leave and received treatment in Washington, D.C., as well.

Since Jackson Jr.’s resignation, many 2nd Congressional hopefuls have thrown their hat in the ring.

Read more about the candidates interested in running on The Grio

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