The Washington Post

Still no sign of Jesse Jackson Jr.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), photographed Aug. 25, 2008, in Denver, Colo. (Chip Somodevilla/GETTY IMAGES)

As House and Senate lawmakers returned from the August recess, there was no sign of the 47-year old lawmaker. He also did not vote on a series of House bills approved Monday evening.

Aides on Monday said they did not know when Jackson plans to report back to work, but confirmed again that he is back in the District after spending about a month at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota being treated for depression. His wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, told a Chicago television station in a text message Monday that “He’s hanging in there. Gonna be home under his doctor’s care until further notice. Won’t be back to work until the doctors give the green light.”

Hours after news of Jackson’s return, his Republican challenger, Brian Woodworth, released a statement on Facebook questioning the location of the lawmaker’s official residence.

“We have prayed for his recovery; we now take joy that he has been discharged from the clinic,” Woodworth wrote on his Facebook page. “However, the first question that comes to mind is, ‘Why return to Washington, D.C., to rest and heal?’” The second, ‘Why call Washington “home”?’ For weeks the Congressman’s Communications Director and Chief of Staff have stated that Representative Jackson would be returning home to CHICAGO to begin campaigning during Labor Day weekend. We are a tad bewildered over this turn of events.”

Woodworth also noted that Jackson’s campaign Web site hasn’t updated since the Democratic primary last spring. “These are not the actions of a serious nominee. Perhaps Jackson, the Illinois Democrat Party and the Democratic National Congressional Campaign Committee are convinced he can squeak out one last win in November, after which he could resign and allow them to pick his replacement.”

A Jackson spokesman did not return requests for comment on Woodworth’s statement.

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Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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