Two of Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.’s staunchest supporters over the years say it’s the nation’s loss that Jackson decided to resign. U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) and Danny K. Davis (D-Chicago) spoke to reporters in Chicago on Wednesday, hours after Jackson submitted his resignation letter.

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Rush says he has known Jackson since Jackson was toddler. He says he always believed the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson would go on to political success beyond the U.S. House. Rush says “the sky was the limit” for someone with Jackson’s political skill and family pedigree.

Davis says Jackson led the push on key legislation, including better health care for African-Americans. Davis calls it an “unfortunate and sad” day for Jackson, his family and the country.