Davis seeks 8th term in Congress

Rep. drops out of Cook Co. board race
November 9, 2009 5:01:58 PM PST
Illinois Congressman Danny Davis is not going to run for president of the Cook County Board. Davis announced on Monday he will campaign for re-election to his post. The seven-term congressman said he will not run for Cook County Board president because three other African-American candidates are in the race and he doesn't want to divide the black voters Davis considers his political base.

"I am withdrawing from the county board race for the sake of unity... for the sake of unity," said Rep. Davis.

Monday morning, Chicago Alderman Toni Preckwinkle won a lottery to be listed first on the February 2nd ballot. The other candidates include Water Reclamation Board Chairman Terrence O'Brien, Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown and incumbent Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. All of them said they would compete for Davis' endorsement.

"I expect that he'll look over at what's going on and he'll make an endorsement and I suspect it will be me," said Todd Stroger, (D) Cook County Board President

"I'm going to reach out for the congressman. I'd like to sit down and talk to him because I am going to seek out his support," said Terrence O'Brien, (D) Cook County Board President candidate.

"We were competing for some of the same electoral support and financial support, so this is helpful to me," said Toni Preckwinkle, (D) Cook County Board president candidate.

"I expected him to make this decision and I'm excited about the fact that he did," said Dorothy Brown, (D) Cook County Board president candidate.

Most of the 10 candidates who publicly announced they would run for Davis' 7th district seat if the congressman vacated it have already withdrawn from the federal race.

"I would never want to run against Congressman Davis. He's the right congressman at the right time," said State Rep. La Shawn Ford, (D) Chicago.

Two weeks ago, Davis filed nominating petitions that he said contained over 50,000 signatures-- more than any other county board president candidate. Earlier he released polls showing him leading the race and incumbent President Stroger with no more than 16% of the vote.

At Monday's news conference, Davis did not rule out an endorsement of Stroger.

"I have met with all of the candidates at some point and will continue to meet with them until I decide who I am going to support for president of the County Board," said Congressman Davis.

Davis said he met Sunday with President Stroger but said he did not plead with Stroger to get out of the race. He said he talked about his own polls that showed Davis as the candidate with the best chance to win the primary and general elections.

A Danny Davis endorsement might not guarantee a victory for one of the other African American candidates. But for those who do not get the endorsement. It could be a fatal blow.


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