Field thins by one to replace Jackson Jr.

Feb. 17, 2013 at 1:23 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- An Illinois state senator has dropped out of a primary contest to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s congressional seat and said she's endorsing one of her opponents.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson dropped out of the primary just nine days before the election, amid a flurry of attack ads being aired by a political action committee funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, critical of her past support for the National Rifle Association's agenda.

Hutchinson said she was supporting her opponent, state Rep. Robin Kelly, to unify the community in the wake of Jackson's sudden and surprising resignation last year. Gun control has loomed large in the special election to fill the seat representing Chicago's South Side, the Chicago Tribune said Sunday.

"Robin is a friend, and has captured momentum in pulling our community together. I am simply unwilling to risk playing a role going forward that could result in dividing our community at a time when we need unity more than ever," Hutchinson said in the statement.

Another hopeful, U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, has also been attacked by Bloomberg's PAC on gun control. Halvorson has said she does not support banning assault rifles.

A crowded field of 15 Democrats will be on the ballot for the primary, with now three major players vying for the party's nod in the heavily Democratic district: Kelly, Halverson and Alderman Anthony Beale, who represents Chicago's 9th ward.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Federal judge strikes down polygamy ban in Utah
Ukraine: Troop movements will no longer be publicized after Russian attacks
Body found, confirmed to be missing N.J. man Aaron Sofer [UPDATED]
Search expands for pilot of crashed U.S. military jet in rural Virginia
Kirsten Gillibrand called 'porky,' 'chubby,' 'fat' by male colleagues
Trending News