Election 2012: Jackson Jr. Campaign Shut Down for Election Night

 Jesse Jackson Jr. Photo
Jesse Jackson Jr. (center) at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
(Photo by Studio 8 Denver/via a Creative Commons license)

By Tyler Carter
The Red Line Project
@RedLineProject

Posted: Monday, Oct. 29, 2012

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s campaign officials say they are not planning a Nov. 6 election night party and have stopped campaigning, save for automated calls to voters.

A media spokesman from Jackson’s Homewood office confirmed that Jackson will not be holding nor attending any election night events with his 2nd district seat, which he's heavily favored to win. Jackson is being treated for a bipolar disorder.

Jackson's illness and campaign finance troubles have become the primary subject in the media with in the last several months. Jackson has returned to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for further treatment for type II bipolar disorder. That, combined with the newly found campaign financial issues being investigated by the FBI, the campaign has essentially shut down.

Save for a brief interview with a reporter on the steps of his Washington, D.C., home, Jackson has been out of the public limelight for several months. This has made it difficult for Brian Woodworth, his Republican opponent in the 2nd district, to engage him on any issues.

In an interview with The New Republic, Woodworth addressed his concerns with running against an opponent that has not made a presence in the political arena.

“I knew getting into this it was going to be a tough race because he’s Jesse Jackson Jr.,” Woodworth said. “At the candidate forums, there’s no one to debate with. When you do interviews, you can’t talk about your issues, because it’s really the only thing the press wants to talk about. What’s your statement of Jackson’s latest, whatever you want to call it, nonsense.” (His absenteeism Woodworth clarified—not illness.)

In early October, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on a federal investigation looking into “suspicious activity” concerning Jackson finances. The probe is not related to the House Ethics Committee investigation involving former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Senate seat, rather finances related to Jackson’s House seat and the possibility of inappropriate expenditures.

Nearly two months after being released from the Mayo Clinic for treatment of bipolar disorder, Jackson has  returned to the clinic and could be possibly staying longer.

“I don’t know how long he’s going to be there,” Jackson’s father, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson told the Associated Press.

The only form of communication that Jackson Jr. has had with the citizens in the 2nd District is a robocall. In the message, Jackson Jr. says that he is anxious to return to work but it is against his doctors' orders. He asked voters for their patience.

JacksonJr.  still remains on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election. According to a We Ask America poll, Jackson Jr. leads Woodworth by 31 percentage points. If re-elected, this will be the 17th year that Jackson Jr. will have served as a representative for the district. 

Return to Election 2012Home page

Feedback: Contact the reporters via Twitter, leave a comment below, submit a story idea or report an error.