Rep. Jackson Jr. voted absentee, has no election-night event plans

{mosads}The Illinois congressman has been on medical leave from Congress since June, originally citing exhaustion. His office later revealed that Jackson was receiving treatment for bipolar disorder.

Jackson returned to Washington but not to Congress. Jackson left Mayo at the end of the summer, spending several weeks at his home in Washington, where he said he was undergoing satellite treatment. Amid reports that he was drinking in neighborhood bars, the Chicago Democrat returned to an inpatient setting at Mayo this month.

Despite his absence, both on Capitol Hill and in his district during the later months of the campaign season, Jackson remains the heavy favorite to win reelection next month in his heavily Democratic Chicago district. Recent polling has shown Jackson with a comfortable lead ahead of his Republican opponent.

His office has maintained throughout the personal crisis that Jackson plans to remain in Congress and run for reelection.

Earlier in October Jackson released an automated robo-call in his district asking voters to stick with him while he recovers.

“I am starting to heal,” Jackson says in the robo-call. “The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one.”

Jackson’s saga has stirred some national debate about lawmakers’ responsibilities to their constituents, as critics contend Jackson should be more up front about his status and when he might return to Washington. Democratic leaders, meanwhile, have defended Jackson’s absence, arguing that his treatments should be treated like those for any other illness.

Mike Lillis contributed to this report.


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