The race to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat in the House of Representatives got off to an inauspicious start when former Democratic congressman and convicted child sex offender Mel Reynolds announced his candidacy surrounded by signs that read “Redemption.” Yesterday, Illinois state senator Donne Trotter, another candidate for Jackson’s seat, was detained at O’Hare Airport for allegedly attempting to bring a gun aboard a plane. According to the TSA, Trotter was carrying a .25 caliber Beretta in his garment bag. Ironically, Trotter voted against a law that would have allowed Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons. ” An assistant state attorney said that Trotter “did not realize [the gun] was still in his bag.”
Trotter’s arrest brings the number of Illinois state lawmakers now facing felony charges to three, which, according to the Chicago Sun Times, “is a high-water mark in recent political memory at the Statehouse.”
Also facing charges are state representative Derrick Smith, who was arrested in a federal sting and charged with taking a bribe in exchange for recommending a state grant; and state representative La Shawn Ford, who was indicted last week for making false statements to a bank in order to get a half-million dollar increase on a line of credit.