Add another Jackson to Chicago mayoral mix

September 17, 2010 4:43:43 AM PDT
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s brother Jonathan Jackson said he is interested in becoming the next mayor of Chicago.

Jackson's brother, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., is also considering a run.

Jonathan Jackson said Thursday night that a lot of people are talking to him about running for mayor. And, he says, he has not said no to anyone yet. He says, like every citizen, he is concerned about the economy, education, safety and improving the city's neighborhoods. He does admit, however, that he does not have an exploratory committee, a pollster, or petitions.

Jonathan Jackson says he's "not that political," but he is "very interested" in being Chicago's next mayor.

"Everybody but my mother, and I'm not even sure about here, is very interested," said Laura Washington, DePaul professor and Sun-Times columnist. "I think that's an important posture to take...you want to be taken seriously you want to get your name out there when there is so much media attention and it doesn't cost you anything. "

Jackson's brother, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, Alderman Sandi Jackson, have not clarified their political intentions. "I have not made that judgment," Jesse said on September 9.

A source close to Congressman Jackson did confirm that on Wednesday Jackson met with Rahm Emanuel -- another potential candidate.

If they run, both men face another challenge: Rod Blagojevich's second trial. The defense has suggested there is a strong possibility both Jackson and Emanuel could be called in the case. The trial starts in January -- the height of the mayoral campaign. Election Day is February 22. Some say the trial could hurt both men, particularly Jackson.

"What I'm hearing in the African-American community is that there will be a lot of people behind him...except for this federal investigation. They are afraid another shoe is going to drop," said Washington.

Congressman Jackson told Politico Thursday that he and Emanuel discussed the city's economic future. And they agreed that every possible contender should take the "moral high ground because the city deserves a serious debate about the issues."

Of course, if no one gets a majority of the vote in February, there will be a run-off election in April.


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