* I told subscribers about this earlier today…
In what some observers say is a surprise move, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle won’t be backing her one-time cabinet member Robin Kelly in the 2nd Congressional race, but will throw her significant political weight behind state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields).
Preckwinkle told the Sun-Times on Monday that she believed Hutchinson – not Kelly – had the muscle to win the race.
“It was a really tough decision to make. I had to make a difficult choice between two people…” Preckwinkle told the Sun-Times by phone, pausing for a moment. “But I had to pick the candidate who I thought could win.”
Preckwinkle declined to answer any more questions, saying she’d talk more at an afternoon news conference to announce her endorsement of Hutchinson.
Kelly, who was also a chief of staff to former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, was among Preckwinkle’s first hires when she won the November 2010 county board presidency. Kelly was earning $172,519 annually before stepping down in December to focus on campaigning for the seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.
*** UPDATE *** With a hat tip to a commenter, here is Robin Kelly’s response…
“Getting an A rating from the NRA might get you President Preckwinkle’s endorsement, but it won’t fly with the voters in the Second District. They want someone who will fight against the NRA not stand with them. Robin Kelly is the one candidate ready to stand with President Obama to bring common sense gun control to help families throughout Chicago and the Southland.”
A bit harsh, no?