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Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.

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Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Jesse L. Jackson Jr.jpg
U.S. House, Illinois, District 2
In office
December 12, 1995-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2013
Years in position 20
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last election2010
First elected1994
Next general2012
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sNorth Carolina A&T State University
Master'sChicago Theological Seminary
J.D.University of Illinois College of Law
Date of birthMarch 11, 1965
Place of birthGreenville, South Carolina
ProfessionPolitician, Civil Rights Leader
Office website
Campaign website
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. campaign logo
Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. (b. March 11, 1965) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Jackson was elected by voters from Illinois' 2nd congressional district. Jackson defeated challenger Debbie Halvorson in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012.[1]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Jackson is a "far-left Democrat".[2]


Jackson was born on March 11, 1965 in Greenville, South Carolina. Jackson graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1987 where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. Three years later, he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from the Chicago Theological Seminary, and in 1993, received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law. [3]


Committee assignments

U.S. House of Representatives


Jackson serves on the following committees:[3]

  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Vice Chair
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration


Political Positions

On his campaign website, Jackson has 5 leading issues that he is concerned about. In comparison, Debbie Halvorson, his Democratic Primary opponent, lists 8 issues. Jackson lists the following issues: [4]


Excerpt: "In the 2nd Congressional District, the biggest issue is jobs. That's why Congressman Jackson has been fighting to build a third airport in the south suburbs, which would bring jobs and economic development to the Southland."

Leading issue for opponent Debbie Halvorson: Approveda

Health care

Excerpt: "Congressman Jackson supported the bill, and believes it should be implemented as passed, so that the promise of health care reform can be fully realized. He also believes that a public option should be considered in the future, and supported such a provision when it was debated in Congress."

Leading issue for opponent Debbie Halvorson: Approveda


Excerpt: "Education is the key to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans who grow up in communities such as the South Side and south suburbs, where economic opportunity is scarce. Congressman Jackson believes that both additional resources and accountability are necessary, so that schools that have been failing can begin to meet higher standards. In addition, Congressman Jackson has proposed a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to an education of equal high quality to all Americans."

Leading issue for opponent Debbie Halvorson: Approveda

Energy and environment

Excerpt: "Climate change is a real threat to all Americans and to people across the globe. As temperatures rise, lives and livelihoods are at risk. Simply put, we absolutely must reduce our carbon emissions as quickly as possible, and we must convince our counterparts around the globe to do so as well. Congressman Jackson supports a national cap-and-trade system to put a price on carbon."

Leading issue for opponent Debbie Halvorson: Approveda

International affairs

Excerpt: "In Afghanistan, we must continue to build the government's capacity to effectively govern and secure the country, leading towards the responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops. We must ensure that when we leave, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are unable to return to power and safe harbor there. In the Middle East, Congressman Jackson has been a vocal leader in protecting the security of Israel. In March of 2010, he joined his Republican colleague, Mike Pence of Indiana, in drafting a letter to President Obama that encourages crippling sanctions on Iran in order to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons."

Leading issue for opponent Debbie Halvorson: Defeatedd



On June 26, 2012 Jackson's office released a statement about Jackson's absence since June 10, 2012.[5] According to the statement, Jackson was on medical leave from Congress and was being treated for exhaustion.[6][5] Following that, Senator Dick Durbin called on Jackson to release further details on his condition.[7] He stated at a Chicago press conference on July 9, "As a public official, there comes a point when you have a responsibility to tell the public what's going on...Mr. Jackson will soon have to make a report on the physical condition he's struggling with."[7]

Notable endorsements

The following are endorsements from notable persons and organizations:

Endorsed by Statement
Nancy Pelosi "He may be junior in terms of his title in the family, but he is very senior in the amount of respect he commands in the Congress of the United States."[8]
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel In a statement, the Chicago mayor called Jackson, Jr. a "progressive fighter".[9]
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn "Time and again, Congressman Jackson has delivered for the residents of the 2nd District in Illinois. Congressman Jackson deserves to go back to Washington, D.C.and help President Obama continue to fight for jobs, economic recovery and everyday Americans."[10]

Campaign tactics and controversies

  • In early-October 2011, campaign-related e-mails were sent by Jackson's staff members in response to campaign statements made by Democratic Primary opponent Debbie Halvorson. The e-mails, according to reports, were sent from the staff members' government accounts after requests by the media. Allegedly, this violated U.S. House rules that prohibit using government email accounts for campaign or political purposes. According to the House rules maual: "[T]he use of one‘s office desktop computer (including one‘s e-mail address) to send or receive such communications continues to be prohibited." However, Jackson's spokesperson Kitty Kurth claimed that those emails can be categorized as appropriate because of an exemption allowing press secretaries to "answer occasional questions on political matters."[11]
  • Jesse Jackson, Jr. stated during his campaign for re-election that he plans on introducing legislation that would turn the Historic Pullman District in Chicago, Illinois into a national park. The Chicago neighborhood is the first planned industrial community in the United States. The potential proposal would allow for a one-to-three year feasibility study to determine if designating the park at certain locations would work. If so, a proposal to Congress would be made to pass a measure to designate it as a national park.[12]
  • Jackson stated that his Democratic Primary opponent, Debbie Halvorson has not supported President Barack Obama as much as he has. He pointed out that Halvorson voted against the president 88 times while in Congress.[13]


2012 Election

  • A poll released by the Halvorson campaign in January 2012 showed the following results between Democratic Primary opponents Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. and Debbie Halvorson.[14]
  • A second poll was released at the same time, by Lake Research Partners, showing similar results to the previous one.[14]
    • Neither polls released a margin of error, therefore, the chart shows zero until those numbers are obtained.
  • Lake Research Partners released another poll on March 13, showing Jackson with a considerable lead over Halvorson.[15]
Illinois' Congressional District 2, 2012
Poll Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) Debbie Halvorson (D)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Debbie Halvorson campaign
(January 10-12, 2012)
Lake Research Partners
(January, 2012)
Lake Research Partners
(March 8-11, 2012)
AVERAGES 50.33% 29.33% 20.33% +/-1.63 464
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to



See also: Illinois' 2nd congressional district elections, 2012

Jackson is running in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 2nd District. Jackson is seeking the nomination on the Democratic ticket. The signature filing deadline was December 27, 2011, with the primary taking place on March 20, 2012.

Jackson defeated challenger Debbie Halvorson in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012.[1] In the Republican primary, Brian Woodworth defeated candidate James H. Taylor, Sr..[1]

U.S. House, Illinois' 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJesse Jackson, Jr. Incumbent 71.2% 56,109
Deborah Halvorson 28.8% 22,672
Total Votes 78,781


On November 2, 2010, Jackson won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Isaac C. Hayes (R) and Anthony W. Williams (Green) in the general election.[16]

U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 2nd Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJesse L. Jackson, Jr. Incumbent 80.5% 150,666
     Republican Isaac C. Hayes 13.8% 25,883
     Green Anthony W. Williams 5.6% 10,564
Total Votes 187,113


On November 4, 2008, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Anthony W. Williams (R) and Nathan Peoples (Green) in the general election.[17]


On November 7, 2006, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Robert Belin (R) and Anthony W. Williams (Libertarian) in the general election.[18]


On November 2, 2004, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Stephanie Sailor (Libertarian) in the general election.[19]


On November 5, 2002, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Doug Nelson (R) in the general election.[20]


On November 7, 2000, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Robert Gordon III (R) in the general election.[21]


On November 3, 1998, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Robert Gordon III (R) and Matthew Joseph Beauchamp (Libertarian) in the general election.[22]


On November 5, 1996, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Frank H. Stratman (Libertarian) in the general election.[23]

Campaign donors


Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.[24] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary[25]May 25, 2012$262,942.21$273,519.00$(85,355.91)$451,105.30
April Quarterly Amended[26]April 13, 2012$451,105.30$177,590.86$(321,089.53)$307,606.63
July Quarterly[27]July 13, 2012$307,606.63$54,715$(115,696.12)$246,625.51
October Quarterly[28]October 6, 2012$187,246.32$11,280$(85,470.66)$113,055.66
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Jackson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Jackson won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Jackson's campaign committee raised a total of $795,723 and spent $1,032,506 .[29]


Jackson was treated for bipolar depression earlier this year and thus missed a number of votes. He missed 178 roll-call votes in 2012, 32% of the total number. It is not known when he plans to return to office.[30]

As a result of his illness, he was not visible during the 2012 campaign for district representative. Some stated that it was likely Jackson would still win the district. Brian Woodworth and Marcus Lewis said they were hopeful that they could garner support from his absence. Jackson's district underwent changes because it was a part of redistricting and even though there are fewer African Americans in the district, that is not expected to be an issue in the 2012 election. Campaign advisers for Jackson stated that he would appear in public again as soon as it was okay with Jackson's doctor. Some residents of the district gave their support to Jackson and said they sympathize with his illness.[31]

Finance probe

The FBI initiated a probe in 2012 into suspicious activities involving Jackson's finances related to his seat in the 2nd congressional district, including possible inappropriate expenditures. This investigation coupled with Jackson's continued absence from campaigning led rumors to fly with no answers being given by staff.[32]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Jackson paid his congressional staff a total of $841,038 in 2011. He ranks 12th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic Representative Staff Salaries and he ranks 87th overall of the lowest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Illinois ranks 46th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[33]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Jackson's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $111,015 and $442,000. That averages to $276,507.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[34]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Jesse + Jackson + Illinois + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

  • Loading...


Jackson resides in Chicago, Illinois with his wife Sandi, Chicago's 7th Ward Alderman, daughter Jessica Donatella, and son Jesse L. Jackson, III.[3]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" Accessed March 20, 2012
  2. Gov Track "Jackson" Accessed May 18, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jesse L. Jackson, Jr Representing Illinois' 2nd Congressional District "About" Accessed October 30, 2011
  4. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Congressman, Second Congressional District of Illinois "Issues" Accessed February 8, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chicago Tribune "Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. on medical leave, exhaustion cited" Accessed July 10, 2012
  6. Chicago Business "Rep. Jackson says medical condition 'more serious' than first thought" Accessed July 10, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 Chicago Business "Durbin says Jackson must talk 'soon' about health woes" Accessed July 10, 2012
  8. WGN, "Nancy Pelosi throws her support behind Jesse Jackson Jr.", March 3, 2012
  9. PJ Star, "Mayor Rahm Emanuel Backs Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. for District 2 Congressman", March 6, 2012
  10. Chicago Tribune, "Quinn backs Jackson, but not in person", March 11, 2012
  11., "Jackson's staff sends handful of campaign-related emails from congressional addresses", February 14, 2012
  12., "Jesse Jackson, Jr. Says Pullman Should Be A National Historic site", Retrieved February 16, 2012
  13. CBS Chicago, "Halvorson voted against the president 88 times while in Congress", February 20, 2012
  14. 14.0 14.1 Sun Times "Jackson and Halvorson release competing polls in congressional race", January 18, 2012
  15. NBC Chicago, "Poll: Jackson Leads Halvorson 59-23", March 13, 2012
  16. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006"
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004"
  20. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002"
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000"
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998"
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996"
  24. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. FEC Reports "Summary Reports" Accessed July 7, 2012
  25. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. FEC Reports "Pre-Primary" Accessed July 7, 2012
  26. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed July 7, 2012
  27. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. FEC Reports "July Quarterly" Accessed September 27, 2012
  28. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. FEC Reports "October Quarterly" Accessed October 15, 2012
  29. Open Secrets "Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 30, 2011
  30. Chicago Tribune, "Return uncertain for 2 Illinois members of Congress," September 10, 2012
  31. The New York Times, "In Illinois, Jackson Runs Unseen," October 2, 2012
  32. Chicago Sun-Times, "Feds probe ‘suspicious activity’ in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s finances: sources," October 12, 2012
  33. LegiStorm "Jesse Jackson Jr."
  34., "Jackson, (D-Illinois), 2010"
Political offices
Preceded by
Mel Reynolds
U.S. House of Representatives - Illinois, District 2
Succeeded by