CHICAGO
03/05/2012 10:34 am ET

Nancy Pelosi In Chicago: Former House Speaker Endorses Jesse Jackson Jr. (VIDEO)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi came to Chicago this weekend to endorse U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s re-election bid.

Speaking alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition's Saturday Morning Forum, Pelosi said that the incumbent congressman, currently facing a primary challenge from former one-term congresswoman Debbie Halvorson in the 2nd Congressional District, "deserves re-election, and we're all going to do everything we can to make sure that happens - for many reasons," NBC Chicago reports.

(Scroll down to watch Pelosi discuss Jackson.)

Responding to her rival's endorsement, Halvorson told the Chicago Tribune that "last time I looked, Nancy Pelosi doesn't live in the 2nd District."

"I think this election is going to come down to the people," Halvorson told Fox Chicago. "You know, the people I talk to are tired of insiders coming in to change votes."

The race between Jackson and Halvorson has been a heated one in recent weeks. Last month, Jackson accused his challenger of voting "like a conservative Republican" due to her record of voting against President Obama 88 times while in Congress -- a summary of her voting record Halvorson described as a distortion.

Earlier in the month, a Jackson supporter said at a campaign event that "Satanic forces" were behind the obstacles to the incumbent congressman's re-election and that Halvorson's agenda represents a "political demonic force."

Jackson is currently the subject of a House Ethics Committee probe into reports that he was involved in trying to raise money for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for being appointed to President Obama's old Senate seat. Jackson has denied the allegations and maintained that he'll be vindicated.

In a separate appearance at Northwestern University, Pelosi blasted the 2010 Supreme Court "Citizens United" ruling on campaign spending, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Pelosi said new regulations are necessary to "shine the bright light of disclosure on some of the big money coming into campaigns."

WATCH Pelosi discuss her endorsement of Jackson:

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View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

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