* Jeff McKinley, the only openly gay legislative Republican candidate in Illinois, withdrew from the race last night. From a press release…
“One of the ideas I’ve talked about on the campaign trail has been duty to family. This is a value that guides my life and shapes my decisions as a husband, as a father, and as a citizen.
“I know that, no matter what, I have the unwavering love and support of my family, and I know that they will stand by me through thick and thin. However, today, I have to consider my reciprocal duty to them.
“Certain concerns have arisen within my family that make it impossible for me to proceed with the campaign at this time. I assembled a great team, and we had the pieces in place to achieve victory, not only in the primary, but also in the general election in November. I thank them and all my supporters for their efforts and dedication. Words are inadequate to explain just how grateful I am.
“Effective immediately, I am officially withdrawing from the campaign to be the next state representative from the 71st district. I also wholeheartedly endorse my former opponent, my coworker, and my friend, Jim Wozniak, as our next representative. Jim and I decided to run without knowing each other’s intentions. Our competition was never personal and we both ran positive campaigns focused on issues and the future. I am also grateful for that.”
Wozniak now has a clear shot at freshman Democratic Rep. Mike Smiddy, who won two years ago without help from the House Democrats.