Metro-East News

St. Clair Dem Party chief says Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson won’t seek re-election

Illinois State Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson on the floor of the House.
Illinois State Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson on the floor of the House. BND

State Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, an East St. Louis Democrat who has served nearly seven years in the Illinois House, won’t seek re-election next year, according to a local party chief.

St. Clair County Democrat Party Chairman Bob Sprague, in a letter to precinct captains, said Jackson will not run for re-election in 2016.

Attempts to reach Jackson for comment were not successful. Jackson represents the House’s 114th District, which covers a U-shaped swath that takes in East St. Louis and reaches to the O’Fallon and Lebanon areas. It wraps around Belleville, taking in areas around Centreville, Freeburg and Scott Air Force Base.

In the letter, Sprague also said the party’s Central Committee leaders are endorsing Latoya Greenwood, an East St. Louis City Council member, for the seat.

“Eddie Jackson has just recently informed me that he would not seek re-election for state representative,” Sprague wrote. “We have just endorsed Latoya Greenwood for state representative in the 114th.”

The letter asked precinct captains to help circulate nominating petitions for Greenwood.

Greenwood, at a City Council meeting earlier in the week, declined comment when asked by a reporter if she planned to run for state representative.

Greenwood is director of human resources at East St. Louis School District 189, with a salary of about $91,000.

Greenwood is director of human resources at East St. Louis School District 189, with a salary of about $91,000.

Greenwood’s father, Lonzo Greenwood, is president of the District 189 Board of Education. He also serves as chairman of the East St. Louis Democratic Club.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said Saturday that he wasn’t aware of any decision by Jackson not to seek re-election. “I’ve not heard that discussed,” Brown said.

Jackson currently serves on the following House committees: executive, energy, education appropriations, consumer protection and counties/townships. He is chairman of the Counties and Townships Committee.

Jackson rarely votes contrary to the Democrat majority in the House. The exceptions have included gay marriage, which Jackson voted against.

He has been supported by groups that typically support Democrats, such as labor unions, but also has received favorable ratings from church groups and the National Rifle Association. He was a co-sponsor of the state’s concealed-carry bill. He also has voted in favor of medical use of marijuana.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business group, gave him a 50 percent rating.

Jackson was unopposed in the 2014 election. He last faced a challenger in 2012, when he got about 60 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Ryan Stookey.

Jackson was first appointed to the House in early 2009 after the death of Rep. Wyvetter Younge, D-East St. Louis.

Jackson was first appointed to the House in early 2009 after the death of Rep. Wyvetter Younge, D-East St. Louis.

Before his appointment to the House, Jackson served for about 30 years on the East St. Louis City Council.

Jackson, who has degrees in education and city and planning, was principal of A.M. Jackson Elementary School in East St. Louis from 1989 to 2004. He served as assistant principal at Clark Junior High School in the 1980s. Before that, he taught high school science.

Jackson and his wife have two children. A daughter, Emeka Jackson-Hicks, is mayor of East St. Louis.

St. Clair County court records show that Greenwood was charged with disorderly conduct after she and a male friend got into an argument with a Best Buy employee on Dec. 19, 2012, at the Fairview Heights store. The court record shows she was issued a ticket for the disorderly conduct charge following the incident. She completed community service, wrote a letter of apology to the employee and made a contribution to the charity of his choice. Hickey Thompson, the male acquaintance who was with Greenwood, was convicted of battery and served eight days in jail.

East St. Louis City Manager Alvin Parks Jr. said he’s surprised that Jackson won’t run again.

“I certainly wish Rep. Jackson the best in completing his current term and wish him the best whether he is going back in public service in another role or if hes retiring,” Parks said. “I’ve enjoyed working with him and look forward to continuing to work with him, as he is still our state representative, precinct committeeman and a citizen of East St. Louis.”

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