Jackson to Tell Candidacy Plans Monday

Associated Press

After months of campaigning around the country, the Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to disclose Monday whether he will be a candidate for the presidency in 1988.

Jackson, who has given every indication that he intends to repeat his 1984 bid for the Democratic nomination, will reveal his decision on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” program, and then make a Labor Day swing through three Eastern cities.

“All indications are it’s positive,” press secretary Frank Watkins said.


Watkins added that the statement Monday is intended to signal Jackson’s intentions but not yet officially launch the campaign, which will be done at some later date when he will make a formal announcement.

Starts in Pittsburgh

Jackson’s schedule calls for him to start the day with the ABC interview from Pittsburgh, Pa., hold a news conference in that city and participate in a traditional Labor Day march. He then will attend a Labor Day picnic in Cleveland and then travel to New York for a Caribbean parade and festival, Watkins said.

The decision to be disclosed Monday is another step toward formalizing a campaign that has been going full-steam ahead for several months as Jackson crossed the country to deliver speeches, participate in rallies, meet with political and community leaders and intervene in labor disputes.

Jackson has had a presidential exploratory committee in place since March, but has held off on any announcement, saying he was still in the decision-making stage.

Money has been a problem for the Jackson camp, but two large fund-raising events last weekend, in Chicago and New York, brought in close to $400,000, the campaign said. Watkins said that puts his total fund-raising at more than $1 million so far.

The campaign’s goal is to have raised $5 million by next March, Watkins said.

Because he has not set up a formal presidential campaign committee, Jackson had not reported his finances to the Federal Election Commission, as other presidential contenders have been doing.

Jackson has used his exploratory time to try to broaden his base of supporters by wooing troubled farmers in the Midwest and laid-off factory workers around the country. The civil rights activist and minister has been courting the Democratic Party mainstream, moderating some of the flamboyant rhetoric that led some officials to label him divisive.