JUNIOR WINS

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Jesse Jackson Jr., the 30-year-old son of the civil rights activist, will bring his famous name to Washington after trouncing Republican Thomas Somer to capture the congressional seat vacated by Rep. Mel Reynolds, who resigned after being convicted of sexual misconduct. "Although it is clear that he won the post largely because of his famous name, and he isn't as well credentialed as Reynolds who was a Rhodes Scholar, he can still really help a district that is in horrible condition," says Chicago bureau chief James Graff. "The fact that his name is Jesse Jackson will enable him to get the attention of the press and put some focus on his district's problems, which are the classic urban problems of drugs and crime." Jackson won 76 percent of the vote to Somer's 24 percent. He holds law and theological degrees, but still a political novice whose only experience in politics was serving as national field director of the Rainbow Coalition from 1993 to 1995.