Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. Resigns

Nov 21, 2012

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has resigned: a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner confirms he has received Jackson's letter of resignation.

Boehner's office did not offer immediate comment on the resignation. 

Jackson was re-elected this month to his ninth term in Congress. That's in spite of the Chicago Democrat's lack of public appearances since he took medical leave in June for treatment of bipolar depression. 

The House Ethics Committee has been looking into whether Jackson was involved in fundraising efforts for former Governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. There are also reports of a possible investigation into misuse of campaign funds.

Cook County election officials say today they may seek court permission to hold the election to replace Jackson as soon as February or April. That's when regular municipal elections will be held. Sharing the election date would be cheaper than scheduling a special election. However, Governor Pat Quinn issued this statement this afternoon:

Today I was informed of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s resignation as congressman for the 2nd District of the state of Illinois.

Within five days, I will set forth a schedule for a special election to allow the people of the 2nd District to choose a new member of Congress to represent them in Washington.

This election will be carried out in a manner that is fair to the electorate and as economical as possible for taxpayers.

We know that Congressman Jackson is confronting health challenges, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time."

Congressman Jackson represents Illinois' 2nd Congressional District, on Chicago's south side. He is the son of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and husband of Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson.