Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. may not campaign ahead of election: report

CHICAGO Thu Oct 4, 2012 2:04am BST

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The wife of Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. said on Wednesday the nine-term congressman - who has not made any public appearances since going on medical leave in June - may not appear in public to campaign ahead of the November 6 election, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In late July, after a series of statements from Jackson's office and doctors that raised more questions than they answered, the Mayo Clinic announced it was treating the congressman for bipolar disorder. He was released last month and is now convalescing at home, according to his office.

On Wednesday, Jackson's wife Sandi Jackson, a Chicago alderman, told reporters at City Hall, "I know he's eager to (campaign) ... But he's also under doctor's orders to stay very calm, very quiet, and he's going to do that," the newspaper reported.

She added that Jackson had no plans to step aside and make way for another Democratic candidate.

"He is on the ballot and he's going to stay on the ballot," she said, according to the newspaper. "And I'm looking forward to him coming back to work after his re-election. No last minute switcheroos. He would never do that and I would never want that for him."

Jackson, 47, the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson Sr., has served in Congress since 1995 and in March won the Democratic primary to seek a 10th term.

But he has not made any public appearances since June, when his office said he had taken a leave from office to treat what was initially described as exhaustion, even though he is running again to represent Illinois's 2nd Congressional District in Washington, D.C.

Jackson has been the subject of a congressional ethics committee probe over an alleged bribe offered to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich by a Jackson supporter in 2008.

The offer was intended to entice Blagojevich into appointing Jackson to President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has admitted to lobbying for the seat but has denied knowing about any money offered to Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption charges and is in prison.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Edith Honan and Lisa Shumaker)

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