Hendon will not enter mayor race

November 5, 2010 3:25:20 PM PDT
State Senator Rickey Hendon is the latest potential candidate to announce he will not run for mayor of Chicago in the February election.

Hendon says he did not receive an endorsement from a group that was seeking to come up with an consensus African-American candidate in the race. He says he feels that means he would not get enough support for a campaign.

"I've come to the conclusion that my candidacy is not worth causing disunity within the African-American community or consternation for those who really don't understand who Ricky Hendon is," said Sen. Hendon.

The last few weeks have been tough for Hendon. In October, he was criticized for calling gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady racist, sexist, and homophobic. Last week, a court subpoenaed grant records related to programs Hendon sponsored.

Hendon denied Friday that any of the recent controversies had something to do with his decision not to run for mayor. Instead, he cited the need for the African-American community to rally around a single candidate and said it was clear he was not going to be that person. A group of African-American clergy, political and community leaders has been working toward a endorsement of a candidate, and Senator Hendon is not on the short list.

"Someone that will use that office to change the conditions in the Black community," he said referring to a possible candidate.

Hendon spoke Friday about high unemployment, drugs, and violence plaguing African-American communities.

"The horrific conditions, and I mean horrific, in the African-American community, we attempt to find the mayor from our community, someone that will move that office to change the conditions in the black community and other parts of the city that needs it," Hendon said.

That group that is working to endorse a single consensus candidate has narrowed its short list to two potentials: former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers.

Mosely-Braun downplayed the coalition's possible endorsement.

"I don't know what you mean by the coalition. I don't really know who that is, but I'm happy to have endorsements of whoever wants to join us on the issues, on the policies, and positions that I represent," said Mosely-Braun.

Hendon did not endorse anyone, but he spoke glowingly of fellow West Sider Congressman Danny Davis.

Davis had said he wouldn't run after failing to receive the Chicago coalition's endorsement in a move to try to unify the vote. But before taping his weekly Internet show Friday, Davis said he's reconsidering.

"It appears as though there might not be one African-American candidate," said Rep. Davis.

Besides Rogers and Mosely-Braun, activist William "Dock" Walls and state Senator James Meeks are likely candidates. Also, Senator Roland Burris hasn't ruled it out.

"You know, if there's support, I more than likely will do it," said Sen. Burris.

Sen. Hendon disclosed he was diagnosed with high blood pressure shortly after he made those controversial comments about Bill Brady. He says he plans to try to mend fences with Brady in Springfield. He stopped short of an apology, but called his comments "unfortunate."


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