Rep. Jackson’s resignation leaves wide-open race for empty seat

A day after Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress, speculation swirled over who might replace the 10-term Democrat re-elected to office just two weeks ago.

Jackson on Wednesday sent his resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder and admitting “my share of mistakes,” while confirming publicly for the first time that he’s the subject of a federal probe. He said he is cooperating with investigators.

“For seventeen years I have given 100 percent of my time, energy and life to public service,” Jackson wrote. “However, over the past several months, as my health has deteriorated, my ability to serve the constituents of my district has continued to diminish. I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone.”

Jackson, the 47-year-old son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, defeated Republican challenger Brian Woodworth this month by 40 percentage points, despite not campaigning for re-election.

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