Sandi Jackson, the wife of the much embattled Jesse Jackson Jr., denied rumors that she may run for her husband’s recently vacated seat in the U.S. House. Jackson Jr. resigned his position as representative for Illinois’s 2nd congressional district, after holding the Chicago area position for 17 years. His wife currently serves as a member on the Chicago City Council, where she plans to continue her political career.
“No. I am not a candidate for Congress,” Mrs. Jackson told Associated Press reporters. “I intend to remain an alderman.” When asked if she and her husband would be moving back to Chicago full-time, Jackson was much less certain.
“I haven’t made a decision about what I’m going to do,” she said. “What I’m doing right now is concentrating on delivering the best city services possible to the ward. When that decision is made I’ll be sure to let you know.”
Jackson Jr. easily won re-election in November, despite taking medical leave from Congress in June. He is currently undergoing treatment from bipolar disorder, and was reportedly told by his doctors to resign. The 47-year-old politician is also under federal investigation for the misuse of campaign funds, related to the corruption charges that landed former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in jail on corruption charges.
The Chicago district is overwhelmingly Democratic, and a number of potential candidates other than Sandi Jackson would be available. Jonathan Jackson, the younger brother of Jackson Jr., has mentioned the possibility of a run, which could potentially keep the house seat in the family. Jonathan Jackson is a business professor at Chicago State University, and has worked as the national spokesman for the RainbowPUSH Coalition.
Other potential candidates include former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who was defeated by Jackson Jr. in a primary earlier this year, and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale. State Senator Toi Hutchinson has announced her intention to run, along with former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who held the position before Jackson Jr.
The primary will be held for Democratic candidates on February 26, and the special election for Illinois’s 2nd congressional district will be held on April 9.