Rep. Danny Davis drops out of mayoral race

December 31, 2010 8:49:47 PM PST
Danny Davis withdraws from the race for Chicago mayor, making Carol Moseley Braun the only prominent black candidate left.

Davis and former mayoral candidate State Senator Rev. James Meeks announced they will now support Carol Moseley Braun.

Davis says he and Moseley Braun had been under a lot of pressure from African American leaders in Chicago to agree on a so-called consensus candidate.

The timing of the announcement certainly seems odd, coming as it did on New Year's Eve. Some analysts speculate it could be the symbolism of starting fresh, although there is also a sense of urgency with only seven weeks left before the election.

"The purpose of the whole is far more important than any individual's desire," said Davis.

Both Davis and Meeks said that regardless of race, Moseley Braun is the best-qualified person to be mayor.

"I am supporting Carol Moseley Braun with every ounce of fervor that I have. I am even going to give her some money," said Davis.

"I can't think of a greater honor than to receive the endorsement of State Senator Meeks and Congressman Danny Davis in this historic event this evening," said Moseley Braun at the same press conference. "What a great way to start the New Year."

The decision to drop out of the race was apparently made after a meeting between Meeks, Davis and Moseley Braun earlier Friday.

Davis' departure clearly designates Braun as the unity candidate for the African American community in a crowded field that includes former presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, former school board president Gery Chico, and City Clerk Miguel del Valle. ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington said Friday night that Davis' decision probably affects Chico most of all.

"Now I think he's going to be looking around at his major competitor, Miguel del Valle, and there's going to be some discussions in the Latino community about consolidating that support as well around one candidate," said Washington.

While Davis said that it was a desire for unity and not a lack of funds that led him to drop out of the race, some analysts believe Davis, who has not really had the need to do serious fundraising for many years, simply did not have it in him to stay in the race.

Both the Emanuel and Del Valle campaigns reacted to Davis' decision by praising the congressman's service.

Chico's campaign spokesperson says that regardless of who is in the race, Chico is still the best-qualified candidate.