Sandi Jackson: Husband May Not Surface Until After Election
It's been four months since Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. announced he was taking medial leave. He's back at his home in Washington, D.C. bus isn't making any public appearances. And that might be the case for several more weeks. Mary Ann Ahern reports.
Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson broke her silence this week about whether she plans to run for her husband's vacated congressional seat.
The answer, she coyly told DNAIfo, is ... maybe. “Never say never,” she told the publication's Mark Konkol.
Jackson, a repeated no-show at City Council meetings since Jesse Jackson Jr.'s medical leave, said she wants the 2nd Congressional District's next leader to be someone with experience who knows Congress and can work both sides of the aisle.
As for whether she's describing herself, Jackson acknowledged people have encouraged her to run for the seat and, while she's had conversations with politicos about the possibility, she's not giving in just yet.
Jackson has acted as a spokeswoman of sorts for her husband during his convalescence but remained vague in her updates. "I believe at some point in time he will come back," she told reporters in October.
At one point, she referred to the media as jackals for asking questions about her husband's whereabouts and plans for return. The Wall Street Journal last month reported Jackson faces the possibility of criminal charges along with her husband in connection with allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal use.
Jackson Jr. resigned on Nov. 21 in a letter to U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, citing ongoing health concerns and acknowledging a swirling federal investigation. He won re-election on Nov. 6, by a wide margin, despite being absent from office since early June and under the cloud of investigation.
Multiple people have jumped on the bandwagon to run for the spot, from convicted former Rep. Mel Reynolds to former Jackson opponent Debbie Halvorson.
Sandi Jackson told DNAInfo she doesn't take the race lightly and said she saw "how seriously it took a toll on Jesse." Her first priority, she said, remains in Washington, D.C., caring for her family.
In that vein, she confirmed she is not divorcing Jackson Jr., who she said is at home and regularly seeing the doctor. And she's not resigning as alderman.
Her next aldermanic appearance was scheduled for Monday at the finance committee meeting. She didn't show.