The wife of ailing Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. says her husband may not return to work until after the Nov. 6 election and likely won’t address his constituents until after they go to the polls to vote.
Chicago Aldererman Sandi Jackson said her husband is seeing doctors two or three times per week as he continues treatment for the bipolar disorder that forced him to take a leave of absence roughly three months ago.
“He is on the ballot,” his wife told reporters on Wednesday. “He is going to stay on the ballot and I’m looking forward to him coming back to work after his re-election,” she said.
“No last-minute switcheroos. He would never do that and I would never want that for him. I strongly believe in the democratic process. When I ran for alderman five years ago, I ran because I believe it’s important to give individuals a voice. They need to have a say in who their elected representatives are. I know that Jesse believes that firmly as well.”
She added, “He is anxious to come back. He wants very much to continue to serve. He right now has a leadership post and, if we are fortunate enough to regain the House, he would be in line to be a major appropriator.”
The 47-year-old Jackson, who was first elected to Congress in 1995, left the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in September and returned to the family’s home in Washington. He vowed to return to the campaign trail by Labor Day, but hasn’t made a public appearance since the spring primary election. His name remains on next month’s ballot.
Jackson faces two opponents on the ballot in next month’s general election in Republican Brian Woodworth and independent Marcus Lewis, a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service.
The Jackson family had put its Washington home up for sale, but recently took it off the market because people who were not serious about buying it were showing up at the house, Sandi Jackson said.
She said the family was still trying to sell the home privately and hoped it will help cover some of Jackson’s medical bills not covered by insurance.
Sandi Jackson told reporters the congressman is eager to “get back out and do what he can” but that his physicians have directed him to “stay very calm and very quiet.”
“Right now he knows he has to follow doctors’ orders,” she said.