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The Southland Issues: Jobs, Economy and Education

General Assembly and congressional contenders from the south suburbs spoke to voters over the weekend at an open forum hosted by Team HOPE and the Democratic Women of the South Suburbs.

Jobs, transportation, education — and the need to make sure the Southland's issues get a fair hearing in government — were front and center in a weekend open forum for primary candidates.

Hosted by Team HOPE and the Democratic Women of the South Suburbs in Hazel Crest, Southland residents heard several candidates for state and federal office speak Saturday.

In the 2nd congressional district primary, challenger Debbie Halvorson questioned U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s ability to get things done. Jackson, in turn, touted his efforts on behalf of the third airport project. Patch towns in this district include Homewood, Flossmoor, Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields.

In the primary for 19th State Senate District, Tinley Park Village trustee Greg Hannon squared off against Mike Hastings from Orland Hills in a bid to succeed State Sen. Maggie Crotty, who's not seeking re-election. The Patch towns in the district include Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox.

Candidates for the 15th State Senate District — Donna Miller, Napoleon Harris and Pat Mahon — said they were dedicated to making sure the south suburbs received equal resources in healthcare, transportation and education. The Patch towns in the district include parts of Homewood and Oak Forest.

Clifton Graham, Jr. faces incumbent Al Riley in the Democratic primary for the 38th State House District seat. The Patch towns in the district include parts of Tinley Park and Oak Forest.

Each candidate spoke for 10 to 15 minutes. You will find the candidate's entire presentation this coming week on your local Patch site.

nick February 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM
JJ Jr has spent his whole legislative career pushing for an airport that the airlines don't want. Other than that, he's done a whole lot of nothing. Many people are hopping for a change: Vote JJ Jr out. Read a book review about JJ Jr's father here: http://oregonmag.com/JesseReview402.htm Shakedown! Exposing The Real Jesse Jackson, by Kenneth R. Timmerman
nick February 27, 2012 at 02:57 PM
correction: 'hoping' for a change
SouthSide February 27, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Oregon Magazine isn't exactly a reliable source, nick. And the author of the book is more of a novelist than a writer of non-fiction. Two strikes. Besides, JJ Jr's father is not in the race, so your point is moot.
Steve Burke February 27, 2012 at 06:16 PM
JJ Jr does have a fetish for the airport. I have not seen a darned thing he's done for Flossmoor during his tenure (I'd appreciate input/corrections on this one). an ass (the equine) would be equally effective as him in congress.
citizen February 27, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Mike Hastings is a JOKE. Remember his Name and vote Greg. Help your community!!
P.K. Dunne February 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Citizen - It's real easy to call others names and hide behide an anonymous screen name. What exactly is it about Mike Hastings that is a joke? What is it specifically that you feel makes Mr. Hannon a better candidate? Let's talk about issues and not hide behind labels and name-calling.
nick February 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM
SouthSide I've read the book about JJ Sr, its filled with examples of his crooked deals, blackmailing & shakedowns. SouthSide I recommend you read the book too, it will give you a new outlook on the Jackson family. They say that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. That seems even more true after JJ Jr allegedly tried to buy Obama's senate seat.
True Dem February 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Citizen, where are Greg's true Democratic roots with a major south side REPUBLICAN player Ed Zabrocki donating THOUSANDS to Greg's campaign. With some more name matching there are other heavy REPUBLICAN players involved with Greg. As a voting democrat during the thick and thin, I find this very unacceptable for a DEMOCRATIC candidate aligning himself with a REPUBLICAN leader. Are the Republican candidates aligning themselves with Democrats during a primary? I don't think so. Something to think about during a DEMOCRATIC primary...

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