Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., how was re-elected to the House of Representatives in absentia about two weeks ago, submitted his resignation Wednesday as he battles mental health issues and deals with a federal investigation.
"For seventeen years I have given 100 percent of my time, energy, and life to public service," Jackson wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner that was submitted Wednesday afternoon. "However, over the past several months, as my health has deteriorated, my ability to serve the constituent of my district has continued to diminish. Against the recommendations of my doctors, I had hoped and tried to return to Washington and continue working on the issues that matter most to the people of the Second District. I know now that will not be possible."
Jackson, D-Il., the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, has not been seen publicly for months. He was treated at the Mayor Clinic earlier this year for what his family described as bipolar disorder. He reportedly had a second Mayo Clinic visit recently.
Jackson's absences didn't deter voters in his Chicago area district from re-electing him, even though he didn't campaign. A special election to be called by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will decide who will fill Jackson's seat.
"It is with great sadness that we learned of Congressman Jackson's decision to submit his resignation," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., said in a written statement. "His service in Congress was marked by his eloquent advocacy for his constituents' views and interests."