Jesse Jackson Jr. re-elected by landslide despite absence

By Emily Ornberg

Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been re-elected in Chicago’s 2nd Congressional District, leading the polls by more than 70 percent with approximately 102,300 votes against Republican Brian Woodworth and Independent Marcus Lewis. Jackson, who is the son of civil rights leader and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, has easily won each election in the largely Democratic district since 1995. This will be Jackson’s 9th term.

Jackson, however, had to put his campaign on the shelf after he left medical leave in June. Jackson was previously treated for six weeks at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues, and has recently returned for a follow-up evaluation. Jackson cast an absentee ballot from Minnesota.

Regardless of his near-absent campaigning, the congressman has received close to $995,000 to date—including just under $636,000 in individual contributions and nearly $359,000 in contributions from political action committees and other organizations, according to a Medill News Service analysis.