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Illinois: Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Team Laying Plans for Return to Work

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s team launched a new effort this week to reassure supporters that the Member plans to return to work and seek another term to his Chicago-area seat, the redrawn 2nd district.

Rick Bryant, the Illinois Democrat’s chief of staff, said he spoke to mayors to provide them with an update on Jackson’s medical condition and indicate that the Congressman fully intends to return to work on Capitol Hill after treatment for what the Mayo Clinic has described as “depression and gastrointestinal issues.”

“I contacted about 25 mayors at the congressman’s request. I told them that the congressman was feeling much better and that he was asking for updates on several projects in the district,” Bryant said in an email. “The congressman also said he expects to be home soon; he is looking forward to getting back to work; and he fully expects to be running for re-election in the fall.”

Jackson’s wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday that “God willing” her husband would be home from the renowned medical facility in Rochester, Minn., in early September.

Jackson was relocated to the Mayo Clinic for depression after a stint at the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona. Jackson’s whereabouts came into question when he took a leave of absence from his Congressional duties on June 10. His office did not release a statement about his absence for about two weeks after he left.

Bryant said all of the mayors with whom he discussed Jackson’s health expressed support for a full recovery.

“It was quite heartening, indeed overwhelming, to hear the patience expressed, the support expressed, and the kindness expressed by leaders from across the district,” Bryant said.