Announcing her candidacy at a soul food restaurant on Chicago's South Side, Jackson showed she will court black voters aggressively in a Democratic primary race that pits her against three white candidates.
Incumbent Sen. Roland Burris isn't seeking a full term after having been appointed by Blagojevich to replace President Barack Obama in the Senate.
Jackson dismissed questions about what role race would play in the Senate contest and about her past connections to Blagojevich.
Jackson is on an unpaid leave from the Urban League.
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