Jesse Jackson Jr. Has a Primary Challenger

Former Rep. Halvorson says Jackson has nothing to show for his time in Congress.

Posted: 10/07/2011 12:03 PM EDT
Jesse Jackson Jr. in congress

Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson formally announced on Thursday plans to challenge Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois) in his 2nd congressional district, which was redrawn in his state’s new redistricting map. Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger ousted Halverson, a Democrat, from her 11th district seat during last year’s midterm elections. The redrawn 2nd district includes a significant portion of the area Halvorson represented during the one term she served in the House, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

 

According to Halvorson, Jackson is ethically challenged and spends most of his time in Washington D.C. She also said that Jackson has spent the past 15 years focused on creating a suburban airport in Illinois, and has nothing to show for it.

 

“We need a congressman who doesn’t have ethical distractions,” she said, referring to an ethics investigation into whether he offered former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich money in exchange for the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated after his presidential election.

 

“We need a congressman who lives in the community, not Washington D.C., and will come home on weekends and talk to the people,” she added.

 

Jackson’s wife, Chicago Alderwoman Sandi Jackson, swiftly came to her husband’s defense.

 

“The last I heard, the U.S. House of Representatives is not in the city of Chicago. It is in Washington, D.C. I don’t know if Debbie is confused about where Congress is,” she said.

 

Halvorson also accused the congressman of being disloyal to the president by failing to support his jobs package and said that he’s been publically critical of the proposal in the local community, which his wife also debunked.

 

“The congressman has been working hand-in-hand with our president to bring home jobs, to bring home the kind of projects that will sustain our community,” she said.

 

(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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