by Mick Dumke
Sandi Jackson is just halfway through her first term as alderman of the Seventh Ward, but she's looked restless in the City Council from about her second week on the job. Now it sounds like she's contemplating a run for Illinois lieutenant governor.
From a newsletter Jackson sent this afternoon to supporters:
Sandi Jackson for Lieutenant Governor?
While I am absolutely committed to representing the people of the 7th Ward as Alderman and Committeeman our organization has to remain engaged during this important election season.
I have been approached about the possibility of aspiring [sic] a new generation of activists across the state of Illinois and making history as the first African-American woman Lieutenant Governor. Currently our organization is circulating petitions for various political positions in the state including Lieutenant Governor. Please contact Jarvis Houston at 773-731-0000 or email@example.com for more information and to become involved as a SWIPO canvasser.
So what does that mean? Is she going to circulate petitions for the job or not? Is she pulling a Newt Gingrich and waiting to see how many adoring fans step up to urge her on? I called her office but was told someone would have to get back to me.
All of which reminds me that it's been awhile since her husband, aka congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., aka the "beast," has been heard from around these parts—which is probably the best way to do his thing and hope people stop thinking of him as "Senate Candidate 5." But it would be a lot like Junior to try to put one of his allies—which I think you could say the alderman is—into a higher-profile gig even as he's staying more or less quiet.
Maybe it won't end up being lieutenant gov, but I'd expect to see Alderman Jackson going for something else soon. Even devotion to her spouse isn't going to keep her pent up in the Chicago City Council much longer.
UPDATE: Alderman Jackson's chief of staff, Bonita Parker, has since issued a statement: "Alderman Sandi Jackson has not made a determination, although she has been encouraged by a number of individuals to explore the opportunity. Alderman Jackson will make a determination about participation at a later date."