Can Debbie Halvorson Beat Jesse Jackson Jr.?
1 year ago
Will an ethics investigation hanging over Jesse Jackson Jr. be his undoing?
Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson is an anomaly in many ways. During a time when many Democrats are trying to distance themselves from Obama, because of his low approval ratings, Halvorson is clinging to the President. In fact, she’s calling out Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. for not sticking by Obama’s side. She’s now his first credible challenger for the 2nd congressional district in Illinois that he’s served since 1995. Halvorson has quickly made the race personal, calling out Jackson for maintaining a home in Washington, D.C. and enrolling his children in school there. Jackson also has other vulnerabilities -- an ethics committee said last week that there was “probable cause” that he acted improperly in connection with former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s scandal.
Halvorson spoke with Loop 21 about her chances to unseat Jackson in next year’s elections.
Loop 21: An unnamed Democatic strategist had this to say to Politico: “I’d be surprised if [Halvorson] actually took a poll and thinks she can win or if she just got in because she needs something to do, she has a couple hundred thousand dollars to burn and she’s pissed at Jesse.” What are your thoughts?
Debbie Halvorson: (laughs) If I needed something to do, I wouldn’t be doing this. This is grueling. With that said, between the time I was out of politics and now I was having fun with my grandkids and husband. The district has changed from 55% African American to 52%. People started clamoring for me to enter the race. Rep. Jackson isn’t really here. He lives in D.C. I decided that I had a good shot at this. When I was a state senator I represented pretty much all but the city of Chicago. I could no longer sit on the sidelines. People can barely make ends meet.
Loop 21: Do you think the ethics probe into Jackson will hurt him in the election?