Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., released his first public statement since June on Friday, speaking to his constituents for just the second time since taking a medical leave of absence early in the summer. Jackson has not yet returned to his post, but is favored for re-election in his Chicago district on November 6. Jackson spent more than a month at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder during his leave and has been staying at his Washington, D.C. home since early September.
“I’m starting to heal,” Jackson said in a recorded call released to Chicago radio station WBEZ and other sources in the second congressional district. “The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one.”
“I am anxious to return to work on your behalf. But at this time, it’s against medical advice,” he added. “While I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask you to continue with your patience as I work to get my health back.”
Jackson, Jr. has been under an FBI investigation due to allegations of the congressman misappropriating campaign funds. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the federal probe is entering its final stages, and Jackson could face indictment before the election. Jackson has yet to address the investigation, and has not been campaigning. With early voting starting on Monday for Illinois, Jackson appealed to voters for their patience.
“Like many human beings, a series of events came together in my life at the same time and they have been difficult to sort through. I am human. I am doing my best. I am trying to sort through them all,” he said in the call. “With your help, your patience, and God’s grace, we will continue to work together to strengthen our communities, provide a better future for our children and leave the world a better than we found it.”