The petri dish of Democrat candidates in the special election Democrat primary for Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s former congressional seat remains teeming with candidates, despite the Chicago Democratic Machine’s heavies being deployed to empty it out.
So far only two have caved, Toi Hutchinson who dropped out of the race over the weekend, and Patrick Brutus, which leaves Machine pick Robin Kelly and former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson vying for the top spot in the slate of many.
Today another candidate in the race, Alderman Anthony Beale, is reporting that he’s been under pressure to drop out, though he won’t name names.
In an interview with Chicago Mag’s Carol Felsenthal published today, Beale said that he had received a call to drop out, although he’s “not at liberty” to divulge who, and that it was “absolutely not” an option at this point.
The Machine is having to contend with the potential of a splintered Democrat ticket that could leave their Kelly open to challenge despite whatever machinations they deploy to help her win the primary. Beale, an African American who has been attending every candidate forum (unlike Kelly) along with Debbie Halvorson, has been able to amass both contributions and support that make him a credible threat.
Felsenthal wonders who put the “strong arm” on Hutchinson to make her drop out over the weekend, settling on either anti-gun maven and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle or the massive expenditures in attack ads by New York Mayor Bloomberg’s PAC, now estimated at $2M. David Axelrod today attacked Democrat Halvorson via twitter, saying:
But the majority of the Democrat field is hanging on, frustrating the Machine’s attempts to clear the way for Robin Kelly. Let’s hope they keep hanging on, not only to stymie the Machine’s will, but also to provide the citizens of the Second District with a taste of what the future may hold.