CHICAGO -- Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Napoleon Harris is running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.

Harris, who starred at Northwestern University, was just elected to the Illinois Senate, but he tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he's been getting overwhelming support for his plan to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Harris is a Dixmoor native who was a first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and played seven seasons in the NFL. Harris was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in a deal that brought Randy Moss to Oakland.

Harris now owns two Beggars Pizza franchises in the Chicago area and is joining what's expected to be a crowded field bidding to replace Jackson, who resigned last week - citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder.

Harris praised Jackson and says he'd like to continue the work he's done in Congress.

Should Harris win his bid, he'd join another former Raider on Capitol Hill. Heath Shuler, Oakland's backup quarterback for part of the 1998 season, is a Democratic congressman for North Carolina.