“Rod Blagojevich’s deputy chief of staff for communications” doesn’t exactly sparkle on a job application these days — and Illinois Democrat Cheryle Jackson‘s previous service to the disgraced former governor is something she has had to address as she kicks off her 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Jackson, who announced Monday that she was seeking the seat held until last November by President Obama, was asked about her ties to Blagojevich during an interview Tuesday on the Don Wade & Roma radio program in Chicago. “I’m glad to get that question,” she said.
Jackson said that millions of Illinois voters initially backed Blagojevich, who succeeded the scandal-plagued Republican Gov. George Ryan in the 2002 election, because they believed he would help working families and make health care more available and affordable.
“Those are things that people got excited about, and I was excited about, and that’s why I went to go work for him,” Jackson said. “When it became less about that, and more about the infighting … that’s not what I signed up for.
“I signed up to help families, to help people get jobs and health care. And when it became less about that, I left,” she said.