Jackson, the son of famed civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and a six-term Democratic congressman from Chicago, had publicly sought to succeed President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.
Jackson had talked to Blagojevich, the person with the sole power to make the appointment, on Monday, just one day before federal agents arrested the Illinois governor. Jackson said he only presented his credentials and polling information that suggests he could win re-election in 2010.
Jackson said he had fought corruption “since day one” but said he could not serve as Illinois senator until his name was cleared in the public eye.
“While I would be honored to serve the people of this state, it is clear to me that I am no capacity to serve them if there is a cloud over my head that seems to suggest that I am involved in some unscrupulous scheme to be a United States senator or anything else,” Jackson told CNN’s Don Lemon.