Republicans in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District appear to have nominated ex-convict Paul McKinley to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), who resigned from Congress in November and subsequently plead guilty to charges of misusing campaign funds.
Though results from Tuesday's primary election are not yet official, McKinley, who has served nearly 20 years in state prison for burglaries, armed robberies and aggravated battery, currently holds a 23-vote lead over businessman Eric Wallace, the Chicago Tribune reported. Wallace has not yet conceded, calling the idea of McKinley representing the party "an embarrassment." McKinley has declared victory in the race.
The state Republican Party does not seem thrilled with the prospect of a McKinley win, according to the Tribune:
Pat Brady, the state's Republican chairman, had no comment Wednesday about McKinley's prospects. Privately, Republican leaders expressed dismay and concern. Given the historic Democratic leanings of the district, no national or state financial help from Republicans is likely, they said.
Once results are official, the winner will square off against the Democratic nominee, former state Rep. Robin Kelly, who is expected to win easily in the heavily Democratic Chicago district.