In a statement released Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s chief of staff, Rick Bryant, Rep. Jackson and his wife have made the decision to sell their townhouse in Washington D.C. to defray medical expenses Jackson has acquired for his depression and bipolar disorders. “Like millions of Americans, Congressman Jackson and Mrs. Jackson are grappling with soaring health care costs and are selling their residence to help defray costs of their obligations,” the statement read. “The congressman would like to personally thank everyone who has offered prayers on behalf of his family.” Jackson aides could not say how much, if any, of the expenses are covered under his health insurance plan.
The house was put on the market a week ago with an asking price of $2.5 million. According to the listing, the home was built in 1921 and has four bedrooms, three full baths, two half baths, five fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, a sunroom and a rooftop deck with a jacuzzi. The listing also shows the home was purchased for $575,000 in 1998 and has 2,936 square feet of living area and its assessed value in 2011 was $1.29 million, and its tax bill that year was $10,999. The listing notes say that the sellers “need to find a home of choice.”
While Jackson’s aides have given no indication of whether the congressman intends to step down, Jackson has been unable to campaign for his Nov. 6 re-election since he began receiving treatment over the last three months. Jackson went on a secretive medical leave in June after relatives said he collapsed at home. In August, his office said that he was being treated at Mayo Clinic because of depression, after a transfer from the Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona. The clinic, located in Rochester, Minn., has said Jackson was being treated for Bipolar II, which entailed periodic episodes of depression and hypomania. Former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who also has dealt with bipolar disorder and been treated at Mayo Clinic, said that the Congressman has “a lot of work” ahead of him on the road to recovery, after visiting him last month. He said Jackson was taking his depression seriously and will have to learn how to treat his illness.
According to election officials in Illinois, if a candidate drops out before Oct. 23 — 15 days before the election — county Democratic leaders get to name a replacement on the ballot. After that, Jackson’s name would remain on the ballot—though some ballots, including those to be mailed to overseas and military voters, already have been printed.