Sandi Jackson: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. won't return to work yet - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ald. Sandi Jackson: Husband can't return to work yet, still in the race

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The wife of Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. said she has no idea when he will be able to return to work. But she said he will not bow out of his re-election bid.

Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson said her husband is seeing a doctor three times a week, and is still being treated for depression. Jackson Jr. has not been seen in public since June.

He is up for re-election November 6, and his opponents say he should step down if he is unable to serve.

"I am not saying one way or another. I am saying it's up to the doctors," Ald. Jackson said. "I believe that at some time he will come back. I don't know whether that will be before the election or after the election."

She spoke after Wednesday's city council meeting. Mrs. Jackson said her husband, who is undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, is under strict doctor's orders to stay quiet and stay at home.

"He's still holding on, seeing his doctors two to three times a week," Ald. Jackson said. "He's still convalescing at home with my mother, children and myself, when I'm there."

Sandi Jackson said her husband is very much in the election race bid and is not bowing out.

"He's on the ballot and he's going to stay on the ballot. I'm looking forward to him coming back after his re-election," She said. "No last minute switcheroos. He would never do that. I would never want that for him. I strongly believe in the democratic process."

The alderman said she's not sure if her husband will talk publicly before Election Day.

"I hope that he will be able to do that. I know that he is anxious to do so," Mrs. Jackson said. "But he is also under doctors' orders to stay very calm and quiet."

She said the family is struggling under the weight of medical bills - in spite of the fact that members of congress are generally regarded as having a "Cadillac" medical plan.

"One thing people do not understand with respect to health care is that what happens is no matter what health care you have -- I know it has with us -- we have Blue Cross Blue Shield," she said. "But it does not cover mental health issues."

The 47-year-old Chicago Democrat took a leave of absence about three months ago. It was later revealed he had been hospitalized suffering from severe depression and gastrointestinal problems.

Sandi Jackson also said that while the family's Washington home is no longer on the market, they are still trying to sell it privately. She thanked voters for their support and encouragement.

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