CHICAGO, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Seven candidates have filed petitions in Illinois to run for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacated congressional seat, officials said.
Candidates were allowed to begin filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections Thursday for a Feb. 26 Democratic primary, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The winner will be favored to win an April 9 special election in the heavily Democratic district, observers said.
Among those who filed petitions were Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, State Rep. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields, State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris of Flossmoor and former Congressman Mel Reynolds, of Dolton, who was replaced by Jackson.
More people are expected to file before the Jan. 7 deadline, the Sun-Times report said.
Jackson, a Democrat, resigned Nov. 21 while undergoing health treatment amid a federal investigation over his use campaign funds, the Sun-Times said.