* 8:52 pm - A top source close to Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s congressional campaign confirmed widespread rumors tonight that Hutchinson will likely drop out of the 2nd District special primary race on Sunday.
The reasons are many, including Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to point his massive super PAC right at Hutchinson while backing rival Robin Kelly.
* Sunday, 12:15 pm - From a press release…
Toi Hutchinson Leaves Race for 2nd Congressional Seat; Throws Support to Robin Kelly
Chicago – The following are statements from Senator Toi Hutchinson, Robin Kelly, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
Senator Toi Hutchinson: “I am ending my campaign for Congress today and throwing my support behind Robin Kelly. I urge those who have been supporting me to now work hard for Robin over the next 9 days. I have said from day one that this campaign is not about me or any one person; it’s about moving America forward and standing with President Obama to create new jobs and safer communities. 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 time when we need unity more than ever. In the wake of horrendous gun related crimes all across our country, I agree with Robin that we need to stand together to fight gun violence, but Debbie Halvorson been wrong headed in her refusal to moderate her views on banning dangerous assault weapons. President Obama needs a strong voice and a partner in Congress to win these important fights and I do not believe Debbie Halvorson would be that voice or partner.”
Robin Kelly: Today is a good day for the Second Congressional District. While Senator Hutchinson and I haven’t agreed on everything, we have a strong mutual respect, share a passion for public service and dedication to the people in Chicago and the Southland. I’m pleased to have her on our team. Likewise, I am excited that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has joined our campaign. She has been a strong voice in the fight against gun violence in the county. In Congress, I will work with Senator Hutchinson, President Preckwinkle and other leaders throughout our district to get guns off our streets and bring jobs to our neighborhoods.”
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle: “Robin Kelly and Toi Hutchinson are both very strong, independent woman and public servants. I consider them both friends of mine. During Debbie Halvorson’s one term in Congress, she opposed President Obama on dozens of issues including critical Wall St. reform and extending benefits for the long term unemployed. She has also vowed to fight his common sense plans for stronger gun laws. I’m proud of Toi for agreeing to put voters before her own ambitions. She is young and has a bright future ahead of her. I did not want to see her campaign close with negative attacks at a time when Robin Kelly is surging with momentum to capture the Democratic nomination for Congress. Robin is a strong leader and will thrive in Congress. I wish her all the luck in the world and I know we will work closely together on issues of mutual importance to our Southland constituents.”
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky: “This election is too important for our party to remain divided. I’m thrilled that Senator Hutchinson has joined me today in supporting Robin Kelly’s campaign for Congress. Senator Hutchinson is a strong leader with a bright future. I applaud her for doing what is best for the Democratic Party today and joining the Kelly campaign so Robin can go to Washington to work with me and President Obama for common sense gun safety laws.”