(CNN) – It's a crowded ballot today in Chicago, where nearly two dozen candidates are running in a special primary election to replace former Rep. Rahm Emanuel.
Twelve Democrats, six Republicans and five Green Party candidates are vying to succeed Emanuel, who was re-elected in November to a fourth term but stepped down at the beginning of this year to serve as President Obama's White House Chief of Staff.
The winners of each party's primary will face off in a general election contest on April 7.
The district stretches from Chicago's wealthy North Side along Lake Michigan to more middle class ethnic enclaves in the northwest part of the city to suburban areas in neighboring Cook County. The district is dominated by Democrats. Emanuel won 78 percent of the vote in his re-election last November.
"This is a solidly Democratic district. It went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. A Democrat has make an effort to lose that seat," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.
Chicago residents have been bombarded with campaign commercials: Through Saturday, 742 TV ads had run, at a cost of nearly $1.4 million.
"It's 'healthy' spending for a special election, driven by no clear cut candidate from the Democratic party for the seat and the prestige of winning the new White House Chief of Staff's old congressional seat," says Evan Tracey of TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, a leading provider of advertising tracking. "This comes at a price. This race has a full field and spending by unions."
Emanuel is the not only well-known politician to serve as congressman from Illinois' Fifth District. The seat was also once held by Rod Blagojevich, who earlier this year was impeached and removed as Illinois governor. It was also held for nearly four decades by former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, who was later convicted and imprisoned on federal corruption charges.
The Democrats currently hold a 254 to 178 majority in the House of Representatives, with three seats vacant.
Another pay day for Chicago and Illinois.
More pay to play.
More dirty politics.
More dirty leadrs.
Chicago is a joke. It is just a accepted mode of business in Illinois.
Everyone there is dirty. Daley, Rahm, Barack, Michelle. Burris, Blago, Ryan, they are all dirty.
It is actually kind of exciting. There are a number of candidates who normally do not participate in politics. I can't wait to find out who wins the primary.
Why, under "Categories," do you list "Barack Obama" and "President Bush"? Did you miss the election?
Um Matthew, Michelle Obama isn't even a politician, genius.
Count me in.
You're a mean one Mr. Grinch...
The one-party system is alive and well in Chicago..... just like in mother Russia.
"...A Democrat has make an effort to lose that seat," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider..."
1. Try proofreading; you're supposed to be a professional.
2. I'm quite sure Emanuel has already handpicked his successor, much the same way Obama did......and Blag's taking the fall.....
The democratic party is incredibly corrupt, and is wrecking our nation.
Nice comment there from Matt in Detroit.
Atleast our Mayor isn't having Sex parties.
You don't have a leg to stand on.
Detroit has been dead for atleast 25 years.
I bet Matt doesn't even live in the city limits.
Republicans do not fit in an urban constituent base.
They belong in the cultural areas where their Rush Limbaugh am radio can reach.
How about we replace Rahm in his current capacity
"The one-party system is alive and well in Chicago….. just like in mother Russia"
Let me know when a Democrat gets elected in Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Alabama...
Um, proud american, no she hasn't.
It would be plastered all over the Ticker with a big red "Breaking News" banner on CNN if that were true.
Now this dirty shady thug is trying to turn american into the wast of space called chicago. Thanks america for voting for these little clowns.
Your right Michelle obama is a pig of the state. Just like her husband her only success has been through goverement not in the real world. The goverment got them into college and now we have our first affirmative action President and the Market has responding accordingly to lazy and uneducated people.
He looks just like the grinch who stole Christmas only now it is the United States of America!!!
Obama is a dismal failure. Buyer's remorse anyone?