Reporting Nancy Harty
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was out doing something Monday morning that he hasn’t had to do in eight years – campaigning against a Democratic opponent in his bid for re-election.
Jackson picked up the endorsements of more than 60 religious leaders from the 2nd Congressional District, during an appearance at a Hyde Park restaurant. The congressman said many of the pastors there have known him his entire life, and have seen him through good times and bad.
One of those ministers said Jackson is “battling political demonic forces.”
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Jackson is facing a congressional ethics investigation stemming from claims that one of his fundraisers offered former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions to appoint Jackson to the U.S. Senate after President Barack Obama was elected and also paid to fly his mistress to and from Chicago.
Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) stood at her husband’s side as he credited her for the idea to first run for congress 17 years ago.
Jackson said he’s committed to create more jobs in the district, through the Peotone airport project he’s backing.
“This campaign is about jobs. This campaign is about the renewal and the revival of our spirits. It’s about making the South Side of Chicago and the south suburbs look like the North Side of Chicago and the northwest suburbs,” Jackson said.
He also said he has supported President Barack Obama more than his challenger, former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson. Jackson said Halvorson voted against the president 88 times while in Congress.
Halvorson quotes Congressional Quarterly in saying she voted with the president’s agenda 90 percent of the time in 2010, compared to Jackson’s 79 percent. She said that ranks him lower than any other Democrat in the Illinois delegation.