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Jackson: Affair Not Reason To Skip Mayor’s Race

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois)

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois (CBS File Photo)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) — Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. tells Newsradio 780 his affair with a Washington D.C. cocktail waitress was not the reason he chose not to run for mayor of Chicago.

Jackson told WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya, “no, not at all” when asked whether his personal problems had played a part in his decision-making.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya Reports

Jackson insists he’s not entering the race because he would not have been able to raise enough campaign cash. He says campaign fund-raising, “is not my forte.”

That flies in the face of reports the congressman allegedly had offered to raise millions of dollars for the re-election of then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in return for being named to fill President Barack Obama’s U-S Senate seat.

Jackson insists neither he nor anyone on his behalf made such an offer to Blagojevich.

Jackson tells Newsradio 780 his real focus is running for re-election to Congress because, “For 15 years, I’ve been faithful to the people of this district and to its needs and concerns”.

Jackson says Sheriff Tom Dart’s decision not to run for mayor creates “a significant void”, but he says “other voices will emerge”.

And, he says he will not endorse anyone in the mayoral primary election because he has too many friends running, including Rev. James Meeks, former Senator Carol Moseley Braun and former Congressman Rahm Emanuel.

Meanwhile, Jackson denies any federal dollars or campaign money was used to fly the woman he had an affair with to Chicago a couple of times. He also says there’s no congressional ethics investigation into the matter.