Well, I expected the field to thin, but even with his issues, this was one drop-out in IL-2 I wasn't quite expecting. State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), the machine favorite and once-presumed front-runner for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat, is leaving the race after being arrested for trying to bring a gun on board an airplane.
Trotter, once considered the front-runner in the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., has decided not to run for the seat, sources tell [WMAQ-TV]. Trotter has released his pollster and begun notifying supporters of his decision, sources say.
It's unclear what this means for the race; if the Chicago machine is now free to coalesce around someone else, then said person would have a strong advantage. If not, this probably only strengthens Halvorson's hand by making the black vote more fractious. Despite his issues, Trotter still was probably the front-runner due to his residual machine support.
Other Chicago candidates might now see this as a green light to enter the race, but right now the IL-2 D primary is now down to 5 serious candidates - ex-Rep. Debbie Halvorson of Crete (Will), State Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields (South Cook), ex-State Rep. and 2010 Treasurer nominee Robin Kelly of Matteson (South Cook), and Chicagoans State Sen.-elect Napoleon Harris and Alderman Anthony Beale.
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