A longtime critic of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. plans to try for the sixth time to run against him for his seat in Congress representing Chicago’s South Side and surrounding suburbs.
The Rev. Anthony Williams, of Dolton, who has twice run in Democratic primaries against Jackson, along with general election candidacies as a Republican, a Libertarian and a Green Party member, said Monday he will challenge Jackson this time with a write-in campaign.
Williams announced his latest political campaign — none of which have been successful — during an appearance at 79th Street and Essex Avenue in Chicago. It was the site last month of a gang-related shooting of eight people.
Williams said he believes Jackson and his wife, Chicago 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson, have not done anything to reduce the level of urban violence.
Williams, in a telephone interview, also cited the Lakeside development at the former site of the South Works U.S. Steel plant on Lake Michigan near the South Chicago neighborhood.
He said the construction project will create jobs, but added none of those jobs seem to be going to people who live on the South Side.
“Somebody has got to stand up and say what is happening here,” Williams said.
“I’m pointing out his record,” Williams said. “I will not sit on the sidelines.”
Kevin Lampe, a spokesman for the Jackson campaign, declined to comment about Williams’ entry into the election.
One area Williams said he will not mention during his campaign is Jackson’s health. Jackson is being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for bipolar disorder, but Williams said Monday, “I’m not going to attack his health. That issue isn’t what’s important. What is important is that his record is unhealthy for the district during the nearly 20 years he’s been in Congress.”
If Williams actively campaigns, he would be the fourth person seeking the Illinois 2nd Congressional District seat on Nov. 6. Jackson is the Democratic nominee, while Brian Woodworth, a professor at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, is the Republican nominee.
The other candidate is Marcus Lewis of Matteson, who is on the ballot as a political independent.