State Sen. Toi Hutchsinson has dropped out of the race for the U.S. House seat Jesse Jackson Jr. is vacating. (Photo courtesy www.ilga.gov)
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO - Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson has dropped out of the race for the U.S. House seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.
In a written statement, Hutchinson says she is throwing her support behind fellow Democrat Robin Kelly, a former state representative.
Hutchinson said yesterday that she did not want her candidacy to risk dividing the community at a time when it needs unity on issues such as gun violence.
Hutchinson had opposed tougher restrictions on guns. But she says the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., persuaded her to moderate her views.
The 2nd congressional district includes parts of Chicago's South Side, which has been especially affected by gun violence. Jackson resigned in November and faces a federal conspiracy charge.
Halvorson sees boosted chances
Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson believes her chances of winning Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacant U.S. House seat have just been given a boost.
One of her opponents in the Democratic primary battle, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, announced yesterday she has withdrawn from the race and is backing another Democratic candidate, Robin Kelly.
Halvorson says she believes she can easily woo those who had supported Hutchinson and keep those votes from going to Kelly.
Halvorson said the shake-up in the race indicates her opponents within the party are panicking with just days to go before the Feb. 26 primary.
She said she was surprised by Hutchinson's sudden withdrawal and questioned what was behind the decision.
Hutchinson said she didn't want her continued candidacy to risk dividing the community and fellow Democrats.