NBC Chicago is reporting that Jesse Jackson Jr. has won the race to keep his seat in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District by a landslide tonight, beating his opponents, Marcus Lewis and Brian Woodworth, with 68 percent of the vote (as of 8:50 p.m., when 62 percent of precincts had reported). Jackson has been undergoing treatment for bipolar depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic and has avoided both press and campaigning for months:
"My deep and sincere thanks to the people of the 2nd Congressional District, I am humbled and moved by the support shown today," Jackson said in a written statement. "Everyday, I think about your needs and concerns. Once the Doctors approve my return to work, I will continue to be the progressive fighter you have known for years. My family and I are grateful for your many heartfelt prayers and kind thoughts. I continue to feel better everyday and look forward to serving you."
Jackson is not celebrating his victory in a swanky Chicago hotel room, or back stage at McCormick place with President Barack Obama watching the returns come in on the national race. He's reportedly spending the night at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
For many Chicagoans, Jackson Jr's victory will evoke the memory of another absent Chicago politician, John Stroger, the former Cook County Board President who was able to engineer an election win despite remaining disappearing from public view for months following a severe stroke. His future may evoke another.
Read more at NBC Chicago.