Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. shocked many Tuesday night by handily winning re-election, despite being hospitalized for ongoing mental health issues.
Jackson mysteriously went AWOL from his congressional duties last May, only to show up hospitalized in the Mayo Clinic for bi-polar disorder. Despite this, he won in a landslide with 63-percent of the vote. NBC Chicago reports Republican Brian Woodworth came in with 23-percent, and Independent Marcus Lewis finished a strong third with 13-percent.
“My deep and sincere thanks to the people of the 2nd Congressional District, I am humbled and moved by the support shown today,” Jackson said in a written statement from the clinic. “Everyday, I think about your needs and concerns. Once the Doctors approve my return to work, I will continue to be the progressive fighter you have known for years. My family and I are grateful for your many heartfelt prayers and kind thoughts. I continue to feel better everyday and look forward to serving you.”
The son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has not been seen publicly since late May, and did not campaign for re-election.
Jackson, who has held the congressional seat since being appointed to it during special election in 1995, is currently under a federal probe stemming from disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama. Blogger Illinois-Pay-To-Play reports two people have come forward with knowledge that Jackson, Jr. tried to buy the seat, and are willing to testify before a congressional ethics committee.
Jackson, Jr. has acknowledged his desire to become a U.S. Senator, but denied trying to buy the seat from Blagojevich.
A separate FBI investigation is looking into financial improprieties, including possible misuse of funds monitored by Congress to decorate Jackson’s Washington D.C. Home.