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Jonathan Jackson declares victory among 17 candidates vying to succeed Rep. Bobby Rush in 1st Congressional District Democratic primary

Jonathan Jackson declares victory in 1st Congressional District primary
Jonathan Jackson declares victory in 1st Congressional District primary 03:25

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Jonathan Jackson has declared victory in the 1st Congressional District race.

Jackson was ahead with 28 percent of the vote late Tuesday – compared with 19 percent for Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), and 14 percent for Karin Norington-Reaves. While final results were not in as of 10 p.m., both Dowell and Norington-Reaves have now conceded.

Jonathan Jackson is the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jonathan Jackson's brother, Jesse Jackson Jr., also served in Congress. Jonathan Jackson is a business owner and spokesman for his father's Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  

In his victory speech at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center Tuesday night, Jackson was joined on stage by members of his family – including the Rev. Jackson.

Jonathan Jackson thanked members of his family, and retiring U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush for his years of service. He also spoke about his love for the South Side of Chicago.

"The South Side has been left behind, and I want you to know the South Side of Chicago matters. I have heard you loudly and clearly, that people have said as they shook my hand and said they were voting for me, I heard something that echoed over and over again. They said, 'Brother Jackson, don't forget us. Don't forget us,'" Jackson said. "I've been taught to lift as I climb. The South Side is going to Washington, D.C. with me."

Jackson also thanked his parents, saying he will look up to them no matter how far he goes.

In conceding the race, Dowell said she will work with Jonathan Jackson. But she decried "dark money" from outside the district that a cryptocurrency billionaire contributed to Jackson's campaign.

"We need you to mobilize your friends, family, and neighbors to go vote in November," Dowell said. "We need to you fight the disinformation, the misinformation, the dark money that targets our community, and influences our politics, to the detriment – to the detriment – of the people who live in the state, who live in the city, and who live in the First Congressional District."

Norington-Reaves also issued statement in which she also conceded:

"I have dedicated my life to public service, advocating on behalf of people most in need and providing critical resources to Illinois' working families. I know firsthand the struggles that we are living through - struggling to pay for everyday items due to rising costs and inflation, and living with a nagging fear for my children's lives, praying they aren't taken too soon due to gun violence. 

"These are the issues I talked about, these are the issues I know we all care about, and these are the issues Jonathan Jackson now has the responsibility of addressing in his campaign. The people of the 1st District deserve a leader who will fight on their behalf. So I hope Jonathan will listen to the voters, work collaboratively with them, and represent this District with integrity and a sense of duty to honor its extraordinary history.

"Although I won't be representing the people, I will still work on their behalf. The 1st District is my home and I will do everything in my power to strengthen and support our working families and adults for years to come."

Sitting Rep. Rush is retiring when his term ends next winter, and Jackson, Dowell, and Norington-Reaves were just three among a crowded field that vied in hopes of succeeding him.

There were four candidates on the Republican side, and 17 on the Democratic side. 

Also among the challengers was longtime Illinois state Sen. Jacqui Collins, who was first elected to her seat in Springfield 20 years ago. Before going into politics, Collins worked as an editor with CBS 2.

Collins was endorsed by her pastor, the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina.

Collins' platform emphasized fighting violence, gun trafficking, and ghost guns.

For her part, Dowell was running for Illinois Secretary of State when Rush announced he would not seek reelection.

Dowell quickly switched gears and jumped into the 1st District congressional race. One aide said Dowell wanted to continue to work in a legislative body, CBS 2's Jim Williams reported.

Dowell has been alderman for 15 years. Before that, she was a deputy commissioner in the city's Department of Planning and Development.

Norington-Reeves got a big boost when she was endorsed by Rep. Rush himself. Norington-Reeves is on leave as chief executive officer of Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership.

She has never held elected office, but said she knows how to navigate the political world - as she oversees federal employment and job training funds.

The Democratic field also included teacher Kirby Birgans; Pastor Chris Butler; community activist and My Block, My Hood, My City founder Jahmal Cole; entrepreneur and banking professional Steven DeJoie; attorney and professor Cassandra Goodrum; educator, negotiator, and activist Terre Layng Rosner; minister Marcus Lewis; violence intervention expert Dr. Ameena Matthews; real estate broker Robert Palmer; realtor Nykea Pippion McGriff; Black Bench founder and former Chicago Board of Elections commissioner Jonathan Swain; workforce development manager Michael Thompson; and former Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority deputy director and chief of staff Charise Williams.

The candidates have made numerous stops in the city and suburbs - hoping to represent the longtime epicenter of African American political power.

With 37 percent of the precincts reporting as of just after 8 p.m., Jackson was in the lead with 30 percent of the vote, followed by 21 percent for Dowell and 13 for Norington-Reaves.

On the Republican side, Eric Carlson, Jeff Regnier, Philanise White, and Geno Young are facing off. Carlson and Regnier were neck-and-neck Tuesday night.

Independent Mitchel Davilo will also be running in the general election in November.

In January, Rush announced he would not seek reelection this year for a 16th term.

Rush, 75, has represented the 1st District of Illinois in Congress since 1993, and before that served for 10 years on the Chicago City Council.

Rush, said as a young civil rights activist, he could not have envisioned serving 10 years on the Chicago City Council and then 30 years in Congress. Rather, he said thought he would be dead before age 30, especially after fellow Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were assassinated on Dec. 4, 1969, during a raid on the party's West Side headquarters by police and federal agents, ordered by then-Cook County State's Attorney Edward Hanrahan.

Rush ran for mayor unsuccessfully against Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1999, and won reelection for his seat Congress the following year after fighting off a primary challenge from then-Illinois state senator and future President Barack Obama.

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