Jackson Jr., Halvorson At Odds Over Endorsements

Updated 01/16/12 – 4:08 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his challenger, former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, were sparring over endorsements on Monday after Jackson said he had the backing of the president, the governor and the mayor, among other key Illinois politicians.

Jackson has released a list of top elected officials he says are backing his re-election bid, including President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But Halvorson questioned the validity of Jackson’s list.

Jackson acknowledged Obama and Emanuel have not publicly endorsed him, but he said they’ve pledged their support in private and he expects public endorsements soon.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“I called them specifically and spoke with them and asked them for their support and they said they’re with me absolutely,” Jackson said. “I’m fairly confident that their public statements will be coming shortly.”

Halvorson challenged Jackson’s list, but an Obama campaign official said the president told Jackson last fall that he would be endorsing him and Emanuel’s campaign spokesman, Tom Bowne, confirmed Emanuel told Jackson last fall in person that he has Emanuel’s support.

But Halvorson said voters in the new 2nd District deserve better than Jackson, accusing him of being absent in the district.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

She also said she was surprised to hear Jackson tout Obama’s endorsement.

“I didn’t believe it because I have a better voting record with Barack’s agenda than Jesse does,” Halvorson said.

Jackson, who’s under the cloud of a House ethics investigation and a personal sex scandal last year, is facing a primary challenge from Halvorson, who lost her 11th District seat in 2010 to Adam Kinzinger. A newly redrawn congressional map puts much of her old district in Jackson’s district.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations Jackson used his Congressional staff to campaign for the U.S. Senate vacancy left behind by Obama in 2008. Jackson has admitted seeking Obama’s former Senate seat, but has denied any wrongdoing in his efforts.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted of seeking $1.5 million in campaign cash from key fundraisers for Jackson, in exchange for appointing Jackson to the Senate seat. But Jackson has testified he never directed anyone to offer Blagojevich or anyone else campaign cash for the Senate seat.

Meantime, Jackson has admitted to having an affair with a cocktail waitress from Washington, D.C.

Halvorson said she plans to question Jackson’s statements and give voters in the 2nd District a choice for the first time in years.

She spoke to reporters outside of a Martin Luther King Day memorial service in Robbins where she picked up the endorsements of some African-American women.

  • Scott

    I find it very hard to believe that anyone would support this fool!!!

  • Dylan

    Dude, you’re going to jail for your lies. Forget about reelection, you’re going down like the Titanic. And no one cares. Even your loser daddy can’t get you out of this one. See if you can bunk with Blago. Book early.

  • jaycee

    Why not birds of a feather flock together why not they all sleep together

  • tom Sharp

    Reason # 24,578 to not vote for this lying loser. TERM LIMITS OF ONE!!

  • Richard

    WHY would anyone competent and intelligent candidate desire or announce and endorsement from an incompetent?

    • Afro

      Jesse was a joke from day one he will have Quinn’s endorcement as Quinn is in bed with Al Sharpton and Jesse, we all saw that and that’s fine because who the hell would want Quinn on their side makes them look bad and I say the same for Al Sharpton ROFL. Al, Pat and Jesse the three blooming idiots. What do they all have in common? Democrats LOL.

  • smooth

    Shame, embarassment, disgrace, adultery, under investigation for corruption. why would anyone want someone like Jackson to represent them as a “Public Servan” looking out for our interests. If it wasn’t for the African American vote (stricltly race) voting for him he would never be elected. Chicagoans here is an opportunity to rid yourself of this guy once and for all. Let integrity win on this election not corrupted and disgraceful in dividuals like JJJ.

  • http://www.cdobs.com/archive/chicago/halvorson-questions-jacksons-endorsement-claims/ Chicago Daily Observer » Blog Archive » Halvorson questions Jackson’s endorsement claims

    […] Jackson Jr., Halvorson At Odds Over Endorsements [CBS Chicago] […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live